Prostate Cancer at a Glance

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that only men have. It is part of the reproductive system that makes the fluid that carries sperm. The prostate is located in front of the rectum and just below the bladder. The urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body) runs through the center of the prostate.

View Video of the Location of the Prostate Gland

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Age is one of the most important risk factors for prostate cancer.. As men begin to approach the autumn of their lives, between 40-70, more than 70% over the age of 65 are diagnosed with the disease. Genetic factors also appear to play a role, particularly for families in which the diagnosis is made in men under age 60. The risk of prostate cancer rises with the number of close relatives who have the disease.Facts:  Not counting some forms of skin cancer, prostate cancer in the United States is:

  • The most common cancer in men, no matter your race or ethnicity.
  • The second most common cause of death from cancer among white, African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Hispanic men.
  • The third most common cause of death from cancer among Asian/Pacific Islander men.
  • More common in African-American men compared to white men.
  • Less common in American Indian/Alaska Native and Asian/Pacific Islander men compared to white men.
  • More common in Hispanic men compared to non-Hispanic men

Current Estimates:

  • 186,320+ developing prostate cancer
  • 28,600+ dying from prostate cancer
  • T-1 Prostate cancer – This is a cancer which has no signs or symptoms and is totally unsuspected. The prostate feels normal to the physician on rectal exam. The cancer is detected either by an elevated Prostatic Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test and subsequent biopsies or by examination of tissue removed during treatment of an enlarged prostate.
  • T-2 Prostate cancer – This is a tumor which is suspected on rectal exam. One or both lobes of the prostate have areas of firmness and biopsies reveal the cancer. The PSA is also usually elevated.
  • T-3 Prostate cancer – This is a tumor that has spread outside the prostate capsule and may have reached the seminal vesicles. This tumor may not be curable by surgery, radiation.
  • T-4 Prostate cancer – This tumor may have spread to the rectum or bladder or to distant organs or bone. This tumor is not curable by surgery, radiation.Risk of Prostate Cancer by AgeThe risk of getting prostate cancer increases with age. The table below shows the percentage of men (how many out of 100) who will get prostate cancer over different time periods. The time periods are based on the man’s current age.

For example, go to current age 60. The table shows 6.42% of men who are now 60 years old will get prostate cancer sometime during the next 10 years. That is, 6 or 7 out of every 100 men who are 60 years old today will get prostate cancer by the age of 70.

Percent of U.S. Men Who Develop Prostate Cancer over 10-, 20-, and 30-Year Intervals According to Their Current Age, 2003–2005

Current Age 10 Years 20 Years 30 Years
30 0.01 0.29 2.39
40 0.29 2.43 8.02
50 2.22 8.04 13.97
60 6.42 12.98 15.74
70 8.34 11.85 N/A