Tag Archive for: aotm-04-19


Article of the month: Prostate cancer mortality rates in Peru and its geographical regions

Every month, the Editor-in-Chief selects an Article of the Month from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. These are intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation. 

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

Prostate cancer mortality rates in Peru and its geographical regions

Junior Smith Torres-Roman*, Eloy F. Ruiz, Jose Fabian Martinez-Herrera§, Sonia Faria Mendes Braga, Luis Taxa**, Jorge Saldaña-Gallo*, Mariela R. Pow-Sang††, Julio M. Pow-Sang‡‡ and Carlo La Vecchia§§


*Clinica de Urologia Avanzada UROZEN, Lima, Facultad de Medicina Humana, Universidad Nacional San Luis Gonzaga, Ica, CONEVID, Unidad de Conocimiento y Evidencia, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru, §Cancer Center, Medical Center American British Cowdray, Mexico City, Mexico, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, **Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Neoplásicas, ††Department of Urology, Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Neoplásicas, Lima, Peru, ‡‡Department of Genitourinary Oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, USA, and §§Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, Universitá degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy




To evaluate the mortality rates for prostate cancer according to geographical areas in Peru between 2005 and 2014.

Materials and Methods

Information was extracted from the Deceased Registry of the Peruvian Ministry of Health. We analysed age‐standardised mortality rates (world population) per 100 000 men. Spatial autocorrelation was determined according to the Moran Index. In addition, we used Cluster Map to explore relations between regions.

Fig. 1. Peru geographical zones by provinces. The asterisk denotes the province of Callao. Source: National Statistics Institute


Mortality rates increased from 20.9 (2005–2009) to 24.1 (2010–2014) per 100 000 men, an increase of 15.2%. According to regions, during the period 2010–2014, the coast had the highest mortality rate (28.9 per 100 000), whilst the rainforest had the lowest (7.43 per 100 000). In addition, there was an increase in mortality in the coast and a decline in the rainforest over the period 2005–2014. The provinces with the highest mortality were Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad, Callao, Lima, Ica, and Arequipa. Moreover, these provinces (except Arequipa) showed increasing trends during the years under study. The provinces with the lowest observed prostate cancer mortality rates were Loreto, Ucayali, and Madre de Dios. This study showed positive spatial autocorrelation (Moran’s I: 0.30, P= 0.01).


Mortality rates from prostate cancer in Peru continue to increase. These rates are higher in the coastal region compared to those in the highlands or rainforest.


Editorial: The burden of urological cancers in low‐ and middle‐income countries

The burden of cancer in low‐ and middle‐income countries (LMICs) continues to rise [1]. Evaluation of geographical differences in cancer mortality statistics is specifically of interest in LMICs as (inter)national guidelines are potentially less embedded in standard care, and objective measurements to assess underlying mechanisms/explanations for the burden of cancer are often lacking. Monitoring mortality statistics in these countries can thus help assess the effectiveness of national and regional health systems in treating and caring for patients with cancer [1].

Torres‐Roman et al. [2] deserve to be congratulated for their efforts to monitor mortality rates for prostate cancer at both a regional and national level in Peru. The CONCORD initiative from the WHO previously reported prostate cancer statistics for Peru, but data were limited to the capital area of Lima [1]. Torres‐Raman et al. [2] report prostate cancer mortality rates between 2005 and 2014 based on data from the Peruvian Ministry of Health, which covers ~70% of all healthcare providers in Peru. Apart from an overall increase of 15% in mortality rates, substantial variation was observed by geographical region. Mortality rates increased by 16% in the coastal region and highlands, whereas in the rainforest region the rates decreased by 19% [2]. One potential explanation for these observed differences could be the difference in ethnic and racial characteristics. The coastal region in Peru has a strong African influence and also has a larger proportion of men aged >65 years. In addition to potential differences in access to healthcare, some of the variation in prostate cancer mortality statistics most likely reflects a deficiency in reporting systems. Even though this study has its limitations due to missing data and lack of information on other important variables, such as ethnicity and socioeconomic status, it provides a first base for a critical assessment of prostate cancer care in Peru.

Studies like this one from Torres‐Roman et al. [2] show that there is a need for improvement and standardisation of (prostate) cancer care in LMICs, but also a need for improvement in data capturing, so that objective measurements can be put in place. The years of healthy life lost due to prostate cancer, as well as other urological cancers, in LMICs is increasing substantially. Even though each tumour group has its own specifications in terms of prevention and control, an epidemiological assessment of cancer burden based on the experience for urological cancers (i.e., prostate, bladder, kidney and testicular) can therefore inform future assessments of cancer burden. The urological tumour group covers both common and less common cancers (e.g. prostate vs kidney cancer), sex‐specific and cancers that affect both sexes (e.g. testicular vs bladder cancer), cancers with less known risk factors and those strongly linked with lifestyle risk factors (e.g. prostate vs bladder cancer).

It is encouraging to see an increase in the number of studies evaluating the burden of cancer in LMICs [3]; however, given the consistency in observations of an increase in mortality, there is an urgent need to further invest in prevention and management, as well as the infrastructure to collect all relevant data at a national level in these LMICs. Accurate information about cancer burden and how this varies between regions is essential to plan for an adequate health‐system response.


  1. Allemani, CMatsuda, TCarlo, V et al. Global surveillance of trends in cancer survival 2000‐14 (CONCORD‐3): analysis of individual records for 37 513 025 patients diagnosed with one of 18 cancers from 322 population‐based registries in 71 countries. Lancet 20183911023– 75
  2. Torres‐Roman, JRuiz, EMartinez‐Herrera, J et al. Prostate cancer mortality rates in Peru and its geographic regions. BJU Int 2019123595– 601
  3. Carioli, GVecchia, CBertuccio, P et al. Cancer mortality predictions for 2017 in Latin America. Ann Oncol 2017282286– 97


© 2024 BJU International. All Rights Reserved.