Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer diagnosed among men who live in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that there were 220,800 new cases of prostate cancer in the US last year, accounting for over 25% of the three major cancers (rated in terms of mortality rates) that afflict males across all age groups.
While highly treatable and with near 98% long-term survivability rates when diagnosed in its earliest stages, prostate cancer resulted in about 28,000 deaths in 2015, making it the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among men in the United States, trailing only lung cancer.
Additional statistics from the American Cancer Society drive home the extended prevalence of prostate cancer, specifically:
- One in every 7 men living in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime
- One in every 38 men living in the United States will die of prostate cancer.
- The mortality rate of African-American men diagnosed with prostate cancer is nearly three times the rate of white males
While prostate cancer is widespread, particularly among non-Latino Black men and men of all races and nationalities whose fathers and brothers have previously been diagnosed, it is not a death sentence. In fact, the good news is that more diagnosed men will live full lives with prostate cancer than die of it.
Regular check-ups and PSA screenings lead to early-stage detection, which expands the number of possible non-surgical treatment options available to a patient and his physicians. For an increasing number of men with small, localized, and slow-moving tumors, the favored treatment plan has become “active surveillance.” In these instances, radical and invasive procedures are delayed or avoided altogether in favor of patients being monitored regularly by doctors for signs of growth and/or progression in their cancers.