Prostate cancer: Prostate cancer deaths tripled during Covid, study finds

A significant study reveals worrying changes in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease, with cases being discovered much later when it is less curable. According to “very alarming” new data, the death rate among men with prostate cancer tripled in the first year of the pandemic. Statistics show around 5,000 more deaths of men with prostate cancer during Covid, despite fewer diagnoses.

Prostate Cancer UK, a charity, carried out an extensive analysis of NHS hospital data and found significant changes in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease, with cases being discovered much later when the cancer is less treatable.

According to the data, the overall mortality rate among men with prostate cancer rose from 7% before the pandemic to 26% in the first nine months of the pandemic.

With a fatality rate of 18% over the following nine months, from January 2021 to September 2021, the number of deaths remained high.

Studies show that much of the spike was not caused by Covid deaths.

According to statistics comparing diagnoses between October 2018 and March 2020 with the year beginning in April 2020, the proportion of men diagnosed under the age of 75 decreased by about four percentage points.

A growing percentage of cases were only discovered when men visited A&E services, according to a study presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology convention in Paris on Sunday. They also demonstrate that cases were more frequently discovered in older people, increasing the likelihood of progressive disease.

Diagnoses of advanced prostate cancer have increased. Overall, the percentage of late-stage prostate cancer diagnoses increased from 12.7% to 15.5% during the pandemic, with A&E diagnoses increasing by 4% and outpatient referrals decreasing by 5%.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the survival rates for prostate cancer?

Survival rates for prostate cancer in the first two stages are almost 100%.

But for people receiving stage four treatment, the percentages drop to around 50%.

What to do to be careful?

Given that around 14,000 people with the disease have gone undiagnosed during the pandemic, experts feared the shortcomings could lead to the loss of thousands more lives.

The organization has asked men aged 50 and over to discuss their risk with their doctor, while black men and men whose fathers or brothers had the disease should be told that their risk increases from 45 years old.

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Edward L. Robinett