Prostate Cancer Facts

Why You Should Care

  • Each year cancer (overall) kills 14 million people worldwide
  • Men are more likely than women to be diagnosed with some type of cancer during their lifetime (50 percent of men compared to 33 percent of women)
  • Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in the U.S., affecting one in six men
  • African American men have the highest incidence of prostate cancer and are 60 percent more likely to develop the disease compared to Caucasian men
  • Men with a family history of prostate cancer are at higher risk for developing prostate cancer
  • Every year more than 230,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer; this number increases annually as the general population of aging men increases
  • Prostate cancer is the second largest cancer killer of men following lung cancer; approximately 30,000 men will die this year from prostate cancer (82 men every day)
  • Screening for prostate cancer includes a PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test and a DRE (digital rectal exam); a biopsy is required to diagnose prostate cancer
  • There is confusion over inconsistent messages about the value of PSA testing for prostate cancer; we fear that this is causing some men to forego testing for early detection resulting in physicians seeing an increase in prostate cancer initially diagnosed at an advanced stage
  • Rather than any “quick fix” for prostate cancer, there are many treatment options and related side effects that each patient needs to evaluate

Those at Risk

  • The risk of developing prostate cancer increases as a man ages
  • Men with a family history of prostate cancer (father, brother or uncle with prostate cancer) are at higher risk for developing prostate cancer
  • African American men have the highest incidence of prostate cancer and are 60% more likely to develop the disease compared to Caucasian men
  • Twice as many African Americans die from prostate cancer in comparison to Caucasians
  • African American men should consider a digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test annually beginning at the age of 40 and carefully track results each year; an increase within one year of 0.75 in a PSA score (or 25 percent or more) warrants further investigation
  • Sexual preferences and behavior are not risk factors for developing prostate cancer