Know Your Prostate Cancer Stats
- More than 230,000 men will be told they have prostate cancer this year. It is the 2nd most common cancer in men in the US.
- About 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed in his lifetime.
- Prostate cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in men
- Almost two out of every three prostate cancers are found in men aged 65 or older.
What is Prostate Cancer?
Only men have a prostate. This walnut-shaped gland sits below the bladder. The prostate surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of your body. Prostate cancer occurs when abnormal cells from your prostate grow out of control.
Am I At a Higher Risk for Prostate Cancer?
- If you are African-American, you are more likely to develop prostate cancer. African-American men are also twice as likely to be diagnosed with more deadly forms of the disease.
- If your father, brother, or other close relative was diagnosed with prostate cancer, you have a higher chance of being diagnosed. This is especially true if two or more close relatives have been diagnosed or if they were diagnosed before age 55.
If you are at higher risk for prostate cancer, talk to your doctor about screening.
Should I Be Screened for Prostate Cancer?
The choice to be screened for prostate cancer is a personal one. Before you decide to be tested, talk to your doctor about your risk for prostate cancer, including your personal and family history. Then, talk about the benefits and risks of testing.
If you are 55 to 69, talk to your doctor about prostate cancer screening.
Some men are at higher risk for prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor about prostate cancer screening if you are age 40 to 54 and:
- are African-American or
- have a father, brother, or son who has had prostate cancer.
Does a High PSA Mean I Have Prostate Cancer?
Not necessarily. Less than one-third of high PSA results are caused by prostate cancer. A prostate biopsy (tissue sample) is the only way to know if you have prostate cancer. However, your doctor may want to repeat your PSA or do other testing.
I’ve Been Having Problems When Urinating. Should I Be Worried?
If you are having problems when urinating, your healthcare provider may use the PSA test to check your prostate health. Remember, urinary symptoms like these are usually caused by prostate health issues other than cancer.
- You urinate often during the day and/or night.
- It is hard to wait when you have to urinate.
- Your urine flow is weak or slow.
- You have to push or strain to start urinating.
- You stop and start several times when you urinate.
- You have pain with ejaculation.
If you have symptoms, talk to your doctor about your prostate health.
What Are the Benefits and Risks of Testing?
Before you decide to have a PSA test, talk with your doctor about your risk for prostate cancer, including your personal and family history. Then, talk about the benefits and risks of testing.
Possible benefits of a PSA test:
- A normal PSA test may put your mind at ease.
- A PSA test may find prostate cancer early before it has spread.
- Early treatment of prostate cancer may help some men slow the spread of the disease.
- Early treatment of prostate cancer may help some men live longer.
Possible risks of a PSA test:
- A normal PSA result may miss some prostate cancer (a “false negative” result).
- Sometimes, the test results suggest something is wrong when it isn’t (a “false positive”). This can cause unneeded stress and worry.
- A “false positive” PSA result may lead to an unneeded prostate biopsy (tissue sample).
- A positive PSA test may find a slow-growing prostate cancer that never would have caused you problems.
Possible risks of a biopsy and treatment
Biopsies can cause side effects of bleeding and infection. Treatment of prostate cancer can also cause side effects. Erection problems, urine leakage, or bowel problems can occur.
Know Your Risk. Talk to Your Doctor.
Visit KnowYourStats.org for:
- Information on your risk for prostate cancer
- A quiz to rate your urinary symptoms
- Tools to decide if screening is right for you
- Information on treatments & life after treatment
- Prostate health educational events near you