Prostate Cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among men in the United States and a significant health-care problem due to its high incidence. It is estimated that in the United States (U.S.), there will be more than 240,890 new cases and 33,720 deaths from prostate cancer in 2011. The natural history and progression of this disease is not clearly and consistently understood. An analysis of autopsy studies has shown that approximately one in three men over the age of 50 years had histologic evidence of prostate cancer, with up to 80% of these tumors being limited in size and grade and, therefore, clinically insignificant. However, a recent study of incidental prostate cancer diagnosed in organ donors found prostate cancer in 1 in 3 men age 60-69, and this increased to 46% in men over age 70.
The number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer remains high. However, 5-year relative survival rates have increased dramatically over the years. There also has been at least a 25% reduction in the age-specific prostate cancer mortality rate since the beginning of the PSA era. It is estimated that 99 % of men diagnosed with localized or regional prostate cancer survive at least five years, while only 33% of those with metastases at diagnosis survive 5 years.
For African American men, however the statistics are more dramatic. African American men when diagnosed are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage and 2.4 times more likely than white men to die of prostate cancer. In addition, if you have a family history the risk is even greater.
Thus, it is still important for men to know the facts abut prostate cancer and have an informed discussion with their doctors about prostate cancer testing.
What is the prostate?
The prostate is part of the male reproductive system and is a small, walnut-sized gland that sits below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate gland secretes a fluid that makes up part of the semen.
Men should discuss with their physicians about their need to have a prostate cancer screening; which helps maintain proper prostate health. For more information please refer to our prostate cancer screening brochure:
Information provided by the American Urological Association.