Prostate Cancer Statistics
- One in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime.
- One in 41 men will die from the disease, making it the second most common cause of cancer death in men.
- In 2020, 191,930 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States, with 33,330 deaths.
- In Texas, an estimated 14,468 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2020, and 2,165 men will die from the disease.
Prostate Cancer Risk Factors
Cancer affects men in all walks of life and doesn’t discriminate by age. Some factors may increase cancer risk.
- Age: Men age 65 and older account for about 60 percent of all prostate cancer cases diagnosed. The likelihood of developing prostate cancer increases after age 50.
- Family History: Men with close relatives (father or brother) who have had prostate cancer are more than twice as likely to develop the disease.
- Race: U.S. and Caribbean Black men have the highest prostate cancer incidence rate worldwide. Black men have a 60 percent higher rate of prostate cancer in the United States than Caucasians, for reasons that are unclear.
- Genetic Factors: A gene mutation on BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 or having Lynch syndrome may denote an increased risk, but it is only a small percentage of cases.
- Diet: Men who consume high amounts of high-fat foods, dairy products, and few fruits and vegetables have a higher risk of prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Symptoms and Signs
The following may be symptoms of prostate cancer but could be linked to other health conditions. If these symptoms are present, men are encouraged to consult their physician for proper testing:
- Weak or interrupted urine flow
- Sudden urge to urinate
- Difficulty controlling urination
- Painful or burning urination
- Blood in urine or semen
- Pain or pressure in rectum
- Frequent pain or stiffness in spine, pelvis, hips, ribs, thighs, or other bones
- Painful ejaculation
- Decrease in amount of fluid ejaculated
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Difficulty having an erection
- Difficulty fully emptying bladder
- Weakness or numbness in legs or feet
Prostate Cancer Stages
Tests to diagnose and stage prostate cancer may include a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test or digital rectal exam (DRE), and biopsy.
- Stage I: The cancer is confined to a limited area of the prostate.
- Stage II: The cancer is still confined to the prostate but is slightly more advanced.
- Stage III: The cancer has spread to tissue surrounding the prostate; may include seminal vesicles.
- Stage IV: The cancer involves organs outside of the prostate, including the lymph nodes.
- Recurrent/Relapsed: The cancer has returned (recurred/relapsed) following treatment.
Prostate Cancer Screening
Men should discuss with their physicians the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening to make an informed decision about testing. Most men should consider regular prostate screenings beginning at age 50. Men at high risk (African Americans and men whose father, brother, or son was diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65) should consider testing beginning at age 45. Consider screening at age 40 if more than one first-degree relative was diagnosed at an early age. Prostate screenings can include the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test and DRE (digital rectal exam).
Prostate Cancer Treatment
Prostate cancer may be treated by different members of the cancer care team. Treatment options vary depending on how advanced the cancer is and if it has spread to other body parts. Physicians will determine the most appropriate treatment for each patient, including surveillance, surgery, radiation therapy, proton therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, vaccine treatment, bone-directed treatment, immunotherapy, and cryotherapy.
Some men will have persistent or recurrent disease after their initial therapy, such as surgery and radiation. In these cases, early detection can optimize further treatment and help identify those who have the best opportunity for care.
Texas Center for Proton Therapy offers Axumin® imaging in combination with scans, such as position emission tomography (PET) imaging, for prostate cancer detection in patients with recurrent or persistent prostate cancer after initial treatment.
Dr. Andrew Lee, medical director at Texas Center for Proton Therapy, answers commonly asked questions about prostate cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment.
After serving in Vietnam, the Horton brothers found themselves both facing a prostate cancer diagnosis, but several years apart. The two men both chose proton therapy as their treatment option, but in different states. John overviews his experience at Texas Center for Proton Therapy.