Below you’ll find some statistics and facts about prostate cancer, including survival rates and contributing risk factors.
- Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in males.
- Approximately 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lifetime.
- The American Cancer Society estimates that, in 2015, approximately 220,800 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed.¹
- In a study following 157 men during 13 years of active surveillance treatment, researchers found that 28% of all patients required additional treatment (such as radical prostatectomy, radiation or hormone therapy) due to an increase in the size and aggressiveness of their cancer.
- In general, about 20-30% of men will show signs of disease recurrence five-years after initial treatment.
- Roughly 4 out of 5 prostate cancer cases are found early, in a stage is known as the local stage. This means the cancer has not spread outside of the prostate gland.
- Because prostate cancer grows so slowly, most doctors will recommend that patients undergo active surveillance treatment, where the cancer is monitored through frequent PSA tests, as well as digital rectal exams and biopsies.
- Roughly 75% of prostate cancers are sporadic. This means that the mutation of the prostate tissue occurs by chance, rather than the direct result of family history, diet or lifestyle.
- The American Cancer Society estimates about 27,540 prostate cancer-related deaths will occur in the year 2015.
- While it is the second most common cancer in males, the relative 15-year survival rate for men with prostate cancer is 94%.
- The relative 5-year survival rate for prostate cancer patients is 100%, and the 10-year survival rate is approximately 99%
- Second to lung cancer, prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in men; approximately 1 in 38 men will die from prostate cancer.²
- Despite being the second leading cause of cancer death in men, most men do not die from prostate cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, 2.7 million men diagnosed with prostate cancer are currently alive.
Contributing Risk Factors
- High testosterone levels are thought to contribute to the development of prostate cancer.
- Smoking is not a risk factor for low-grade prostate cancer; however, smoking may increase the risk for developing aggressive prostate cancer.
- Diet is also thought to play a role in prostate cancer development. Studies show that a diet lacking in vegetables increases a man’s risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer.
- Obesity is linked to more aggressive forms of prostate cancer; however, obese males have relatively lower PSA scores than males of healthy weight.
- A male is twice as likely to develop prostate cancer if his father or brother has had prostate cancer. This risk increases further depending on the age at which these family members were diagnosed.
- Familial prostate cancer – or a family history of prostate cancer – may increase a man’s risk of developing the disease, but only accounts for 20% of cancer cases. Additionally, this type of cancer is often caused by shared environments, lifestyles or genes rather than an inherited cancer.
- Only 5% of prostate cancer cases are attributed to hereditary – or inherited – genetic mutations.³ However, a man’s chances of hereditary prostate cancer increase with the following factors:
- if two or more relatives have been diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 55,
- three generations on the same side of the family have had the disease,
- or if three or more first-degree relatives (such as sons, brothers, or fathers) have had prostate cancer.
- Where a male chooses to live could contribute to his risk of developing prostate cancer. Some studies believe that this is due to dietary and lifestyle habits. For example: men who live in the United States have a 17% risk of developing prostate cancer, but men living in rural China only have a 2% chance of developing the disease. Studies have shown that when men from China and Japan – countries with the lowest incidences of the disease – move to America, their risk increases.⁴
- Men living in certain cities also experience a higher risk for developing prostate cancer. Men living in cities north of Philadelphia, Columbus or Provo (or north of 40 degrees latitude are more at risk of dying from prostate cancer than men living elsewhere in the United States. This could be due to the lack of sunlight and vitamin D during the winter months.
- Age plays an important role in a man’s risk for being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Approximately 1 in 10,000 men under 40 years of age are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. However, incidence rates increase significantly with age. About 1 in 38 of men between 40 and 59 – and 1 in 14 men between 60 to 69 – are diagnosed with prostate cancer annually.
- 6 out of 10 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in men over the age of 65.
- The average age at which American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer is 69 years.
- The majority – about 65% – of newly diagnosed prostate cancer cases are found in males over 65 years of age. After this age, a man’s risk of developing the disease is higher than any other cancer development risk in men or women.
- Compared to Caucasian men, African American males are more likely to develop prostate cancer, and 2.5 times as likely to die from prostate cancer.
- What are the key statistics about prostate cancer? – American Cancer Society (2015, January 1). http://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostatecancer/detailedguide/prostate-cancer-key-statistics
- Prostate Cancer Risk Factors – Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF). (2014, January 1). http://www.pcf.org/site/c.leJRIROrEpH/b.58
- Prostate Cancer: Risk Factors and Prevention – American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). (2014, January 1). http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/prostate-cancer/risk-factors-and-prevention
- Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program: Turning Cancer Data Into Discovery. (2014, January 1). http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/prost.html