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Prostate cancer key statistics

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer, other than skin cancers, in American men. The American Cancer Society estimates that during 2008 about 186,320 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States.

About 1 man in 6 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, but only 1 man in 35 will die of it. More than 2 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that 28,660 men in the United States will die of prostate cancer in 2008. Prostate cancer accounts for about 9 percent of cancer-related deaths in men.

More than nine out of 10 prostate cancers are found in the local and regional stages (local means it is still confined to the prostate; regional means it has spread from the prostate to nearby areas, but not to distant sites, such as bone).

When compared to men the same age and race who do not have cancer (called relative survival), the 5-year relative survival rate for these men is nearly 100 percent.

The 5-year relative survival rate for men whose prostate cancers have already spread to distant parts of the body at the time of diagnosis is about 32 percent.

Five-year survival rates refer to the percentage of men who live at least 5 years after their prostate cancer is first diagnosed. Keep in mind that many patients live much longer than 5 years after diagnosis. Relative survival rates compare the observed survival with that expected for people without prostate cancer.

That means that relative survival refers only to deaths from prostate cancer. Because prostate cancer usually occurs in older men who often have other health problems, relative survival rates are generally used to produce a standard way of discussing prognosis (outlook).

To measure 10-year survival rates, we must have records of patients diagnosed more than 10 years ago. According to the most recent data, for all men with prostate cancer, the relative 10-year survival rate is 91 percent and the 15-year survival rate is 76 percent.

Modern methods of detection and treatment mean that prostate cancers are now found earlier and treated more effectively. If you are diagnosed this year, your outlook is likely to be better than the numbers reported above.

- Source: American Cancer Society


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