Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in the US. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2019 there will about 174,650 new cases of prostate cancer and about 31,620 deaths from prostate cancer.
However, researchers have recorded a significant drop in the number of prostate cancer deaths, since the 1990s.
Due to the latest medical and technological advances, scientists have developed new and effective prostate cancer treatments and diagnosis methods that are more efficient and straightforward.
Dr. David Samadi, a former member of the Fox News medical A-team, Director of Men’s Health at St. Francis Hospital, Roslyn, NY, explains in this interview the reasons why the American Cancer Society recorded a 20% drop in cancer deaths.
Jamie – Dr. Samadi, why is this happening?
Dr. Samadi – This is fantastic news for all the cancer patients out there! Jamie, the peak of cancer death was highest in 1991, about 20 years ago, and so we’ve seen a major decline and 20%, as you mentioned, is a huge number.
We’re basically saving over a million people over the last decade or so. So the reason why this is happening mostly has to do with lung cancer. We see that the death rate has gone down. In 1991, the death rate was about 215/100.000. Now it’s going to about 173 per 100,000.
Part of this is because of screening and there has been a lot of debate over the last few years. People have been wondering whether screening for breast cancer, prostate cancer or colon cancer is really effective or not.
Today we have the answer and you can see that you have to get screened, that information is very powerful and knowing it early can obviously make a difference. Screening for lung cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer has always been a major part of the debate but this new data proves a major improvement in life quality.
Jamie – It’s wonderful news! Let me ask you about particular cancers. Are fewer people smoking and that’s why lung cancer deaths have gone down? Are more people drinking and that’s why liver cancers have gone up?
Dr. Samadi – If we look at lung cancer, we can see it’s reduced by 30%, breast cancer has gone down as a result of the mammograms by 30% and colon cancer by 30%. Are you ready for what follows? My own field of prostate cancer. We’ve done a reasonable job. Prostate cancer deaths decreased by 40%! That’s huge!
And we think that you know smoking awareness and all the things that we’ve spoken about in this program or in other places, has helped tremendously. No one knows exactly why liver cancer and pancreas cancer are on the rise. Obviously, one of many major risks is alcohol and hepatitis and many other things but certainly, we still have a long way to go.
In 2019, there will be an estimated 1,762,450 new cancer cases diagnosed and 606,880 cancer deaths in the United States. We’ve come a long way and certainly, all of these educational programs have helped tremendously. We still have a long way to go!
Jamie – You’re always proposing that people get screened for everything and that they start early. On the other side of it, with treatments available, will we see a cure to cancer in our lifetime and with what cancer is this most likely to happen? Because I know the one that remains very deadly in the list in this study is melanoma. Is it as easy as using sunscreen?
Dr. Samadi – Well, I think that we are going to see a major improvement. This is probably one of the best questions that have come up – Are we going to see this in our lifetime? I’m very, very hopeful! I think we’re going to first see in the next few years which cancer is really deadly and which one is really not going to kill us. This way, we can really give this individualized care to our patients and the decade after hopefully, we will be able to defeat this disease.
So yes, we’ve come a long way but we’re getting there!
Jamie – The silver lining right here in all of this is research on top of research and you become more aware of what type of cancers you can combat and perhaps change behavior. That’s remarkable to see what you’ve been able to accomplish since 1991, which means the research is working, right?
Dr. Samadi – The research is working. We’re getting into the genetic codes we’re trying to find out why someone dies from prostate cancer and somebody else can live for a long time. The exact chemistry of these cancers is extremely vital for us to understand and we’re basically taking like one step at a time against this cancer. So, this is great news and more to come in the future!