Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer found in American men, other than skin cancer. The American Cancer Society estimated there were more than 238,590 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States last year.
- Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, exceeded only by skin cancers.
- An estimated 220,800 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2015 in the U.S.
- Approximately 28,000 deaths from those cancers are expected in 2015.
- About 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.
- Approximately 6 in 10 cases are diagnosed in men aged 65 or older.
- About 1 in 38 men will die of prostate cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men.
- Fortunately, more than 2.9 million men in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer are still alive today. Though a serious disease, most men will not die from such cancer.
Source: American Cancer Society
The cause of prostate cancer is still unknown, but we do know that certain risk factors are linked to the disease.
- Age: The chance of getting prostate cancer goes up as a man gets older. About two out of every three cases of prostate cancer are found in men over the age of 65.
- Race: For unknown reasons, prostate cancer is more common among African-American men than among white men. And African-American men are twice as likely to die of the disease. Prostate cancer occurs less often in Asian men than in whites.
- Nationality: Prostate cancer is most common in North America and northwestern Europe. It is less common in Asia, Africa, Central and South America.
- Family history: Men with close family members (father or brother) who have had prostate cancer are more likely to get it themselves, especially if their relatives were young when they got the disease.
- Diet: Men who eat a lot of red meat or high-fat dairy products seem to have a greater chance of getting prostate cancer. These men also tend to eat fewer fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise: Although most studies have not shown a link to exercise, one recent study found that men over the age of 65 who exercised vigorously had a lower rate of prostate cancer.
Signs & Symptoms
Prostate cancer can show no symptoms for years, and most cases of early prostate cancer cause no symptoms. Men should talk with their doctors if they have questions or are experiencing any symptoms that concern them, such as:
- Frequent urination or pain or burning on urination
- Inability to urinate, or difficulty starting or holding back urination
- Weak or interrupted urine flow
- Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs
- Blood in urine
The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and the digital rectal exam (DRE) are commonly used methods to detect prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends both for men who choose to be tested.
- PSA blood test measures a substance made by the prostate called prostate-specific antigen – the higher the level, the more likely cancer is present.
- DRE ( Digital Rectal Exams) exams involve inserting a rubber-gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel for lumps on or enlargement of the prostate.
Lowering risk factors can decrease chances of developing prostate cancer:
- One risk factor that can be changed is diet. You may be able to lower your risk of prostate cancer by eating less red meat and fat and eating more vegetables, fruits, and grains.
- Eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Also, Tomatoes, pink grapefruit, and watermelon are rich in substances (lycopenes) that help prevent damage to DNA and may help lower prostate cancer risk.
- Some studies suggest that taking vitamin E daily may lower the risk of prostate cancer.