Prostate cancer diagnosis is not equally common in all countries and in men of all nationalities.
Where Is Prostate Cancer Most Common?
Prostate cancer is most commonly diagnosed in the United States, Canada, Western and Northern Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Caribbean.
Specific nations, such as Sweden, have higher rates of prostate cancer diagnosis than their neighboring countries.
Where Is Prostate Cancer Uncommonly Diagnosed?
Prostate cancer is not commonly diagnosed in most countries throughout Africa and Asia. It is also relatively uncommon in South and Central America.
Eastern Europe has lower rates of diagnosis than Western Europe.
What Accounts for the Differences From Country to Country?
There are likely several factors that contribute to the apparent difference in prostate cancer rates among countries.
First, industrialized nations such as the United States, the countries of Western Europe, and others have well-developed healthcare infrastructures, which likely result in a much larger percentage of the male population being screened for and then diagnosed with prostate cancer.
This means that the actual prevalence of prostate cancer in many developing nations is likely larger than currently known, but that many men are never diagnosed.
Lifestyle differences between industrialized and developing nations also likely play a role in the disparity among nations. The diet consumed by most men in industrialized nations is vastly different than that of men from less developed countries, and that may play a role.
Additionally, men from industrialized nations are far more sedentary in general than men from developing nations, which could factor in as well.
Some other explanations have been put forth to try to describe the differences in prostate cancer diagnosis rates. Some researchers have speculated that being exposed to less UV light (mostly from sunlight) may increase prostate cancer risk and, thus, partially explain why men from cold weather, northern latitude nations have generally higher prostate cancer rates.
Overall, the difference in prostate cancer diagnosis rates from nation to nation is likely due to multiple factors.
SEER Database 2006