After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer among people assigned male at birth (AMAB) — so much so that about 1 in 8 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).
There's reason to be optimistic, though: Although the disease is being diagnosed more frequently than in years past, most people who have prostate cancer won't die of it, according to the ACS.
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Here's a closer look at who is most likely to get prostate cancer both around the world and in the U.S.
Worldwide Prevalence of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world among people AMAB, according to the World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRF). In 2020, more than 1.4 million people worldwide were newly diagnosed with the disease.
In people AMAB, prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in 112 countries, according to a February 2021 paper in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
Here are the 10 countries with the highest incidence rate of prostate country in the world, along with their new cases in 2020, according to the WCRF:
- Guadeloupe (France): 722 new cases; 184 per 100,000
- Martinique (France): 659 new cases; 168 per 100,000
- Ireland: 4,503 new cases; 111 per 100,000
- Barbados: 279 new cases; 110 per 100,000
- Saint Lucia: 135 new cases; 103 per 100,000
- Estonia: 1,228 new cases; 102 per 100,000
- Puerto Rico: 2,742 new cases; 101 per 100,000
- Sweden: 10,949 new cases; 100 per 100,000
- France: 66,070 new cases; 99 per 100,000
- Bahamas: 201 new cases; 98 per 100,000
Prostate Cancer in the U.S.
Here's a breakdown of prostate cancer statistics in the U.S. as a whole, according to the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER).
- In 2023, an estimated 288,300 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in people AMAB.
- Prostate cancer diagnoses make up 14.7 percent of all new cancer cases in the U.S.
- Approximately 12.9 percent of people AMAB will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some time in their life.
- In 2020, an estimated 3.34 million people AMAB were living with prostate cancer in the U.S.
Below are the new cases of prostate cancer in people AMAB broken down by state (including Washington, D.C.), along with a look at how many people per 100,000 were diagnosed in the year 2020, according to the most recent stats from U.S. Cancer Statistics, The Official Federal Cancer Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Alabama: 3,283 new cases; 103 per 100,000
- Alaska: 386 new cases; 93 per 100,000
- Arizona: 3,125 new cases; 63 per 100,000
- Arkansas: 1,596 new cases; 82 per 100,000
- California: 19,938 new cases; 89 per 100,000
- Colorado: 3,372 new cases; 100 per 100,000
- Connecticut: 2,680 new cases; 112 per 100,000
- Delaware: 859 new cases; 120 per 100,000
- District of Columbia: 352 new cases; 112 per 100,000
- Florida: 13,097 new cases; 82 per 100,000
- Georgia: 7,672 new cases; 127 per 100,000
- Hawaii: 892 new cases; 90 per 100,000
- Idaho: 1,345 new cases; 115 per 100,000
- Illinois: 8,338 new cases; 107 per 100,000
- Indiana: State data of new cases was unavailable at the time of publishing
- Iowa: 2,365 new cases; 113 per 100,000
- Kansas: 2,068 new cases; 113 per 100,000
- Kentucky: 2,892 new cases; 100 per 100,000
- Louisiana: 3,441 new cases; 121 per 100,000
- Maine: 1,019 new cases; 95 per 100,000
- Maryland: 4,612 new cases; 125 per 100,000
- Massachusetts: 4,417 new cases; 99 per 100,000
- Michigan: 7,438 new cases; 110 per 100,000
- Minnesota: 3,692 new cases; 101 per 100,000
- Mississippi: 2,001 new cases; 109 per 100,000
- Missouri: 3,601 new cases; 89 per 100,000
- Montana: 966 new cases; 117 per 100,000
- Nebraska: 1,147 new cases; 94 per 100,000
- Nevada: State data of new cases was unavailable at the time of publishing
- New Hampshire: 1,042 new cases; 101 per 100,000
- New Jersey: 7,743 new cases; 138 per 100,000
- New Mexico: 1,148 new cases; 81 per 100,000
- New York: 14,447 new cases; 118 per 100,000
- North Carolina: 7,684 new cases; 115 per 100,000
- North Dakota: 573 new cases; 122 per 100,000
- Ohio: 8,329 new cases; 108 per 100,000
- Oklahoma: 2,288 new cases; 94 per 100,000
- Oregon: 2,199 new cases; 76 per 100,000
- Pennsylvania: 8,608 new cases; 96 per 100,000
- Rhode Island: 664 new cases; 92 per 100,000
- South Carolina: 3,519 new cases; 100 per 100,000
- South Dakota: 702 new cases; 120 per 100,000
- Tennessee: 4,526 new cases; 103 per 100,000
- Texas: 13,677 new cases; 91 per 100,000
- Utah: 1,729 new cases; 114 per 100,000
- Vermont: 470 new cases; 48 per 100,000
- Virginia: 4,839 new cases; 91 per 100,000
- Washington: 4,354 new cases; 92 per 100,000
- West Virginia: 1,150 new cases; 86 per 100,000
- Wisconsin: 4,383 new cases; 109 per 100,000
- Wyoming: 414 new cases; 99 per 100,000
Prostate Cancer Demographics
Prostate cancer only occurs in people AMAB and is more common in older people than younger ones. It's also more likely to occur in those with a history of prostate cancer as well as Black people AMAB, according to SEER.
Here's a further breakdown of who gets prostate cancer, and which population groups are most at risk.
Prostate cancer is rare among people AMAB who are under the age of 40, according to the ACS, with more than half the cases occurring in those age 65 and older. Most people who are diagnosed with prostate cancer are between the ages of 65 and 74, according to SEER. The median age at diagnosis for prostate cancer in the U.S. is 67 years old.
Here's a look at the percentage of new prostate cancer cases broken down by age, according to SEER:
- Ages 35 to 44: 0.3 percent
- Ages 45 to 54: 6.7 percent
- Ages 55 to 64: 31 percent
- Ages 65 to 74: 41.8 percent
- Ages 75 to 84: 16.3 percent
- Ages 85 and older: 3.9 percent
By Race and Ethnicity
Here's a look at what race has the highest prostate cancer new diagnosis rate and which groups are most affected by the disease, according to SEER:
- Non-Hispanic Black adults: 184.2 per 100,000
- Non-Hispanic white adults: 111.5 per 100,000
- Hispanic adults: 86.9 per 100,000
- American Indian/Alaskan Native adults: 73.2 per 100,000
- Asian/Pacific Islanders: 59.3 per 100,000
Prostate cancer occurs in people AMAB (who have a prostate gland) and doesn't develop in people assigned female at birth (AFAB).
Stats on Prostate Cancer Risk Factors
It's not always clear why someone develops prostate cancer, but there are a few factors that can increase a person's risk. Here are some important statistics to be aware of:
- The most common risk factor for prostate cancer is age, according to the CDC. Prostate cancer is rare for people under the age of 40, but the risk increases rapidly in those ages 65 and older.
- About 5 to 10 percent of prostate cancer cases are believed to be caused by genetics, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. In particular, the ACS says that the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations (the same ones that cause breast cancer in people AFAB) have been linked to an increased prostate cancer risk.
- The likelihood of getting prostate cancer from genetic changes may be higher among people who have more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer, according to the CDC.
Prostate Cancer Mortality
People with prostate cancer often have high survival rates, mainly because early detection methods tend to catch it before it spreads to other parts of the body, according to SEER. Another factor: Many prostate cancers grow slowly, per the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
There are more than 3 million people in the U.S. who are currently living with prostate cancer — and while most people who've been diagnosed with the disease don't die from it, this cancer can lead to death.
Here are some statistics about the mortality rates of prostate cancer and why there's reason to be optimistic.
Worldwide Prostate Cancer Mortality
- Prostate cancer is the fifth-leading cause of cancer deaths among people AMAB worldwide, accounting for 375,000 deaths in 2020, according to the paper in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
- The same paper also reported that prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in 48 countries, including many in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
Here's a look at the top 10 countries for prostate cancer deaths in 2020:
- Zimbabwe: 868; 41.7 per 100,000
- Barbados: 137; 40.3 per 100,000
- Haiti: 1,533; 40.2 per 100,000
- Zambia: 823; 40.1 per 100,000
- Jamaica: 844; 39.4 per 100,000
- Trinidad and Tobago: 403; 38.9 per 100,000
- Bahamas: 72; 36.3 per 100,000
- Dominican Republic: 2,228; 35 per 100,000
- Saint Lucia: 54; 32.6 per 100,000
- Côte d'Ivoire: 1,600; 29.5 per 100,000
U.S. Prostate Cancer Mortality
- About 1 in 41 people AMAB will die from prostate cancer in the U.S., according to the ACS.
- An estimated 34,700 deaths from prostate cancer will occur in 2023, according to SEER.
- Black people AMAB have the highest prostate cancer death rate (37.5 per 100,000). American Indian/Alaska Native people people have the second-highest cancer death rate (19.5 per 100,000), followed by white people (17.8 per 100,000), Hispanic people (15.3 per 100,000) and Asian/Pacific Islander people (8.6 per 100,000), according to SEER.
- SEER data shows that the percentage of prostate cancer deaths is highest among men ages 75 to 84. The median age of death from prostate cancer is 79 years old.
- The death rates for prostate cancer, when adjusted for age, have been declining by an average of 1.2 percent each year from 2011 to 2020, according to SEER.
Prostate Cancer Survival Rates
Here's a breakdown of the five-year survival rate for people with prostate cancer between 2011 and 2017, from the ACS.
The numbers are broken down by three stages: localized (meaning the cancer hasn't spread outside the prostate gland), regional (the cancer has spread to nearby areas outside the prostate gland) and distant (the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, like the lungs, liver or bones). Here are the five-year survival rates by stage:
- Localized: >99 percent
- Regional: >99 percent
- Distant: 31 percent
- All stages combined: 98 percent
Prostate Cancer Screening and Treatment Stats
To screen for prostate cancer, some people get a PSA (prostate specific antigen) test, which measures the levels of PSA in the blood. Higher levels of PSA can be linked to prostate cancer.
There are pros and cons to PSA screening.
While the test can detect prostate cancer early, allowing the disease to be treated before it spreads, the test can also give people false positives — meaning they have high PSA levels but don't have prostate cancer. This could happen due to an enlarged prostate, among other reasons, according to the Mayo Clinic. Other possible downsides to PSA screening include overdiagnosis and overtreatment, per the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force. Treatment complications include incontinence and erectile dysfunction, according to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force.
People who are 55 to 69 should talk to their doctor about whether they should get a PSA screening (for example, if prostate cancer runs in your family, you may be a candidate); experts don't recommend routine screening for those ages 70 and older, according to the CDC.
Here are some more stats about prostate cancer screening:
- For every 1,000 men who are screened between the ages of 55 and 69, about 1 death will be prevented and 3 people will be prevented from getting prostate cancer that spreads to other areas in the body, according to the CDC.
- In 2018, 39 percent of people age 55 to 69 had a PSA screening within the past year, according to data from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
- 40.4 percent of white people had a PSA screening within the past year, according to 2018 data from the NCI; this is compared to 37 percent of Black people and 33.2 percent of Hispanic people.
- 44.6 percent of people ages 70 and older had a PSA test within the past year, according to NCI data from 2018; this is compared to 39 percent of people ages 55 to 69, and 13.4 percent of people aged 40 to 54. As mentioned above, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends against routine screening for people over age 70.
Treatment by the Numbers
Not all prostate cancers grow quickly. If that's the case, doctors sometimes recommend active surveillance (i.e., doing regular PSA testing or biopsies) or watchful waiting (in which you wait for symptoms to develop before doing further treatment).
- A May 2011 study in BJU International that tracked people with localized prostate cancer from 1991 to 2005 found that there was a 100 percent survival rate after 10 years of managing the disease with watchful waiting.
- The same study found that 95 percent of those people were free of prostate cancer metastasis after 10 years.
Other treatment options for low-risk prostate cancer include external or internal radiotherapy and surgery, per the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Prostate Cancer Funding and Cost
There are a few national organizations that are dedicating to fighting cancer and supporting treatment and research advances. Here are some of the bigger ones:
National Cost of Prostate Cancer Care
The estimated cost of prostate cancer in 2020 was $22.3 million dollars, according to the NCI.
- The estimated cost of prescription drugs for prostate cancer in 2020 was $1.7 million, according to the NCI.
- In 2020, the estimated cost of treating prostate cancer in a person at the initial stage of their diagnosis was just over $28,000, according to the NCI. The cost of continued care is $2,602, and the cost during the last year of life is about $74,000.
- In 2020, the estimated cost for a person's oral prescription medication for prostate cancer was $312 at the initial diagnosis, according to the NCI. The costs for continued medication was also $312 per person. During the last year of life, the cost of prescription medication is estimated to be $5,800.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Prostate Cancer Who Is at Risk?"
- Prostate Cancer Foundation: "What Causes Prostate Cancer?"
- American Cancer Society: "Survival Rates for Prostate Cancer"
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention: "What Are Some of the Benefits and Harms of Screening?"
- National Cancer Institute: "Prostate Cancer Screening"
- ZERO-The End of Prostate Cancer: "Why Zero?"
- World Cancer Research Fund International: "Prostate cancer statistics"
- CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians: "Global Cancer Statistics 2020: GLOBOCAN Estimates of Incidence and Mortality Worldwide for 36 Cancers in 185 Countries"
- BJU International: "Watchful waiting for localized prostate cancer in the PSA era: what have been the triggers for intervention?"
- Prostate Cancer Foundation: "How Prostate Cancer Grows"
- Mayo Clinic: "PSA Test"
- U.S. Preventative Services Task Force: "Prostate Cancer: Screening"
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Localized prostate cancer: Low-risk prostate cancer: Active surveillance or treatment?"
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