While this is the most common cancer in men, most prostate cancer is slow-growing and the current survival rate is 97 percent. On average, an American male has a 30 percent risk of having prostate cancer in his lifetime, but only a 3 percent risk of dying of the disease. This success rate is due to ongoing breakthroughs in diagnostic tools and treatments for prostate cancer. These range from close monitoring for low-risk cancers that don't need immediate treatment to precisely targeted radiation therapy and robot-assisted surgery.
Most early-stage or slow-growing prostate cancers may have few symptoms. Contact your physician if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Urgency or difficulty in urinating
- Pain or burning during urination
- A feeling that your bladder doesn't empty completely
- Blood in the urine
- Pain in the back, hips or pelvis
- Age. Your risk of prostate cancer increases as you age. For example, about 25 percent of prostate cancer cases occur in men under 65. The average age at diagnosis is 72.
- Race. African American men carry a greater risk of prostate cancer than men of other races. Asian men tend to be at a lesser risk than other races.
- Family history. If men in your family have had prostate cancer, or if your family has a strong history of breast cancer, your risk may be increased.
- Obesity. Obese men diagnosed with prostate cancer may be more likely to have advanced disease that's more difficult to treat.