Prostate Cancer Quick Facts | Cancer Types - NFCR

Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the number one cancer affecting American men and it’s the second leading cause of cancer deaths for men (behind lung cancer). The incidence of prostate cancer is more than 70% higher in African American men than in Caucasian men.

Key Facts

  • 288,300 new prostate cancer cases are anticipated in the U.S. in 2023, with 34,700 deaths expected to result from the diagnosis.
  • About 1 in 6 African American men versus 1 in 8 Caucasian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime.
  • Strongest known risk factors for prostate cancer are:
    • Family history
    • African ancestry
    • Inherited genetic conditions such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations and Lynch syndrome
    • Smoking and excess body weight may increase risk of aggressive and/or fatal cancer
  • Having a discussion with one’s health care provider on the age to be screened with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test is advised for African American men at age 45 years and age 50 years for other men.
  • Although men under the age of 40 can be diagnosed with prostate cancer, it is considered rare.
  • More than 3.1 million men in the U.S. have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and are still alive today.
Source: American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures 2023 and the Society’s website (2023)

Signs and Symptoms

A symptom is a change in the body that a person can see and/or feel. A sign is a change that the doctor sees during an examination or on a laboratory test result. If you have any of the symptoms below, it does not mean you have cancer but you should see your doctor or health care professional so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed.

  • Problems urinating, including a slow or weak urinary stream or the need to urinate more often especially at night
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Trouble getting an erection (erectile dysfunction or ED)
  • Pain in the hips, back (spine), chest (ribs), or other areas from cancer that has spread to bones
  • Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet, or even loss of bladder or bowel control from cancer pressing on the spinal cord
Source: American Cancer Society’s website (2023)
Prostate Cancer Location
new cases expected in 2023
deaths expected in 2023
in 6 vs 8 men diagnosed in their lifetime
Light Blue Prostate Cancer Ribbon

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is recognized in September. To help accelerate cures please make a gift today.

Researchers Working on Prostate Cancer

James P. Basilion, Ph.D.
James P. Basilion, Ph.D.
Danny R. Welch, Ph.D.
Danny R. Welch, Ph.D.
Paul Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D.
Paul Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D.
Dr. Web Cavenee
Web Cavenee, Ph.D.

Related Content

Researchers Uncover Causal Link Between HPV and Prostate Cancer

Presence of human papilloma viruses (HPVs) in prostate tumors suggests countries should encourage universal vaccination against HPV infections. A literature review published by James Lawson and Wendy Glenn from the University of New South Wales in Australia suggests human papilloma viruses (HPVs) may have a causal role in prostate cancer. September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. To learn more about prostate cancer, let’s explore the findings from this literature review and examine other risk factors associated with the disease, as well as steps that men can take to help reduce their risk. Prostate Cancer: What You Need to Know The prostate is a gland found only in males. It sits just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. When cells in the prostate begin to grow out of control, prostate cancer can develop.1  According to the American Cancer Society, approximately one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime.2 A man’s age, race and ethnicity, and family history can all contribute to his risk for developing prostate cancer, with the disease most likely to affect men who are older than 65 as well as African American men or Caribbean men of African ancestry.3 Prostate cancer is often found before symptoms appear. However, if a man experiences any of the following symptoms, its recommended that you make an appointment with a trusted health care provider: Trouble urinating, such as a slow or weak urinary stream or the urge to urinate more often Blood in the urine or semen Trouble getting an erection Pain in the hips, back, chest, or other areas  Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet Loss of bladder or bowel control  Although these symptoms are often caused by conditions other than prostate cancer, it is important to speak with your health care provider to determine the specific cause of your symptoms.4 Prostate Cancer and HPV: What the Research Tells Us In their literature review, which was published in Infectious Agents and Cancer in July, Lawson and Glenn examined the results of 26 studies conducted between 1980-2020 that looked at HPVs and their links to prostate cancer.  Eight of the 26 studies examined indicated that the prevalence of high risk HPV DNA was significantly higher in prostate cancers compared to normal and benign prostate controls. Furthermore, the more recent studies analyzed — those conducted after the year 2000 — showed that 231 of 1,071 prostate cancers (nearly 22 percent) were HPV positive.5 Lawson and Glenn also found that high risk HPV types 16 and 18, which are known to cause cervical cancer in women and can be prevented by the HPV vaccine, were identified in normal, benign, and malignant prostate tissues.5 Although HPV was previously known to cause other, rare cancers in men, its causal role in prostate cancer — which is expected to cause more than 33,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2020 — greatly expands the repercussions associated with contracting the virus.2 However, while more research is needed to understand the exact mechanisms for how HPV infection might lead to prostate cancer, the authors assert that the evidence compiled in […]

Home Urine Test for Prostate Cancer Developed

Scientists at the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in the United Kingdom have developed a prostate cancer screening test that uses urine and can be completed at home. This new method, called the PUR test (Prostate Urine Risk), is designed to be used first thing in the morning and shows biomarkers associated with prostate cancer far more clearly than after a digital rectal exam.  PUR can help doctors determine treatment. As in the United States, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, but doctors nevertheless find it difficult to differentiate those tumors that will turn aggressive as opposed to those so slow-growing they are no threat to the patient’s life. “Because the prostate is constantly secreting, the collection of urine from men’s first urination of the day means that the biomarker levels from the prostate are much higher and more consistent, so this is a great improvement,” explains lead researcher Dr. Jeremy Clark. He continues: “We found that the urine samples taken at home showed the biomarkers for prostate cancer much more clearly than after a rectal examination. And feedback from the participants showed that the at home test was preferable. And it should also result in a lot more patients being tested.” Current tests for prostate cancer include biopsies, blood tests, cystoscopy (a thin tube with a camera and light on the end), a digital rectal examination, ultrasound, an MRI or CT scan - all of which require a hospital visit. An at-home option like PUR would be a huge boon for patients on active surveillance for tumor progression; only those men with a positive result would have to visit their oncologist. In the UK, the current protocol is for patients to come in every six and twelve months for a painful biopsy, leading to stress in the patient, plus an increased, and possibly unnecessary, workload for hospital staff. Researchers associated with the project added that similar tests for bladder and kidney cancers could be developed based on the PUR technology. “Because the PUR test accurately predicts aggressive prostate cancer, and predicts whether patients will require treatment up to five years earlier than standard clinical methods, it means that a negative test could enable men to only be retested every two to three years,” adds Dr. Robert Mills, who was attached to the project and is Consultant Surgeon in Urology at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. In the United States, it is predicted that 174,650 cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2019, with 31,620 estimated deaths.  It is more common among men 65 or older, and African-Americans. The average age of diagnosis hovers at 66. Several NFCR-funded scientists’ projects are shoeing great potential in the treatment of prostate cancer, among other cancer types. Read more about their current work here. If you’d like to support this life-saving work, please consider making a donation to NFCR today. References American Cancer Society. (2019). Key Statistics for Prostate Cancer. Retrieved from: American Cancer Society. (2019). Prostate Statistics. Retrieved from:!/cancer-site/Prostate (2019). Cystoscopy. Retrieved from: University of East [...]

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month: Signs, Symptoms and Treatments

Prostate cancer is, after skin cancer, the most common cancer among men and the second biggest cancer killer for men in the United States. It’s typically an older man’s cancer with approximately 60 percent diagnoses in men over 65, with the average age being 66. As cancers go, prostate cancer has one of the better prognosis: the five-year survival rate for most men with local or regional prostate cancer is nearly 100 percent. However, for men diagnosed with prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, that number falls to 30 percent. An estimated 174,650 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, and for reasons still to be discovered, the risk of prostate cancer is about 60 percent higher in African-American men than in white men. September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and it is worth noting several advances in the field. New drugs, therapies, tests and techniques hold much promise in catching the cancer in its early stages, and in treatment if it has advanced. Testing Researchers in both the United States and United Kingdom developed two new urine tests for aggressive prostate cancer, promising a tool that is both more accurate than the current blood test and less invasive than a biopsy. Investigators at the University of East Anglia in the UK developed a urine test to diagnose aggressive prostate cancer and predict whether patients will require treatment up to five years earlier than standard clinical methods. It is hoped this new tool can help avoid biopsies and other invasive procedures for low-risk patients. Independently, researchers at UCLA were able to identify a biomarker using microRNA naturally sloughed off from the prostate in urine, which may give insight into tumor development, stage, and possible treatments. Another test involving RNA comes from the University of Virginia; researchers identified a type of RNA key to controlling the growth and progression of prostate cancer. Dubbed HULLK, this RNA is regulated by androgens (male sex hormones) that stimulate its production. Cells that overproduce HULLK, that is, those associated with the most aggressive cases of prostate cancer, are hypersensitive to androgens, the researchers found. Also discovered was that there is more HULLK in tumor samples from patients with advanced prostate cancer. Investigators found that decreasing the level of HULLK in cultured prostate cancer cells slows tumor cell growth. Warnings Discovering what not to do is an important part of medicine, and a study out of Philadelphia found an ominous link between a popular prostate cancer therapy and mental health. Because prostate cancer is fueled by androgens, androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is a standard treatment. Doctors in Philadelphia found  ADT could have links to both Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Of the 154,089 ADT patients observed, 13 percent were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and 22 percent with dementia. Therapies Metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) remains a deadly disease. Anaheim investigators combined targeted radionuclide therapy 177Lu PSMA 617 with the tumor-specific radiation sensitizer idronoxil to assess responses in patients with heavily treated mCRPC; in doing so they found nearly 70 percent of all patients saw a more than […]