14 November 2022

The number of Australian men being diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancers is expected to more than double over the ten-year period to 2028, prompting renewed calls for the government to increase funding for research into deadly forms of Australia’s most commonly diagnosed cancer.

The call follows the release of new data predicting a 123 per cent increase in the number of men being diagnosed with aggressive forms of prostate cancer between 2018 and 2028. 

PCFA Chief Executive Anne Savage said the avoidable death toll would continue to grow without a significant increase in research funding, with roughly half the level of funding going to prostate cancer research compared to other major cancers.

“Prostate cancer must be a national research priority,” Ms Savage said.

“Prostate cancer is a major cause of death in Australian men. It is a disease that claims the lives of more than 3,500 men every year and roughly 10 men every day, costing the health system around $500 million annually to treat.

The figures, based on research by Monash University, also found that overall numbers of men being diagnosed would increase 48 per cent over the same period, concluding the projected trend “…endorses the need to strengthen prevention measures and expand efforts in early cancer detection.” 

“Backing up these findings, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports the number of men dying from prostate cancer between 2014 and 2020 increased by nearly 16 per cent, with evidence from the Australian and New Zealand Prostate Cancer Outcomes Registry confirming higher rates of late diagnosis,” Ms Savage said. 

“There is no avoiding the fact that prostate cancer is a significant threat to the future health and wellbeing of Australian men, with the proportion of men being diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancers likely to swell to nearly one in three men by 2028, compared to one in five today. 

“PCFA estimates suggest only about one in four high quality applications for prostate cancer research are funded, extinguishing viable opportunities to eliminate avoidable deaths in our lifetime. 

“Survival rates are high, but with more than 24,000 men likely to be diagnosed with the disease this year, and more than 3,500 set to die, we cannot afford to short-change researchers who are ready to do the work to help save lives. Deaths from prostate cancer are avoidable, but not without effort.”

The researchers also found 66 per cent of local government areas were facing overall increases in the number of men being diagnosed, with 61 per cent likely to see an alarming spike in aggressive cases.

PCFA will be holding its second annual National Giving Day for research on Thursday November 24, with all donations matched dollar for dollar. Donate via www.pcfagivingday.org.au  


Media contact:

Laura McKoy | M.0435 094 788