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 2019, 174,650 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States, with 31,620 deaths.
- In Texas, an estimated 13,995 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2019, and 2,084 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 first-degree relatives (father or brother or son) who have had prostate cancer are more than twice as likely to develop the disease.
- Race: African Americans have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the United States and are twice as likely to die from the disease as Caucasians.
- Genetic Factors: A gene mutation on BRCA 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 red meat or high-fat dairy products and few fruits and vegetables have a higher risk of prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Symptoms and Signs
The following may be prostate cancer signs or symptoms 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, upper thighs, and 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
Screenings play an important role in early detection. Beginning at age 50, men should begin discussing prostate cancer screenings with their physician. Men with higher risk of prostate cancer, including African Americans and men with a family history of prostate cancer, should discuss with their physician whether screenings are appropriate beginning at age 45. Screenings are typically conducted via two methods:
- The prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test measures levels of a protein produced by the prostate. Higher PSA levels indicate a higher likelihood of cancer, but other reasons may elevate PSA levels.
- The digital rectal exam (DRE) also tests for prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Treatment
Proton therapy for prostate cancer is a highly effective treatment for prostate cancer. However, prostate cancer treatment varies by patient and depends on several factors, including stage of the cancer. 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 and his former patient, Dr. Mark Vaccaro, a radiologist, talk about the benefits of proton therapy for prostate cancer and how Dr. Vaccaro came to the conclusion that proton therapy was the right treatment option for his diagnosis.
Dr. J.E. Mendez, former patient at Texas Center for Proton Therapy, speaks about his prostate cancer diagnosis and his decision to choose proton therapy as his treatment option.