Prostate Cancer Statistics Everyone Should Know in 2022

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, aside from skin cancer.

But it also has one of the best five-year relative survival rates at 96.8%, meaning that nine out of 10 patients are still living five years after their initial diagnosis. 

The cancer evolves when cells in the prostate gland, the body part in biological males that produces seminal fluid, start to grow out of control. Since most patients rarely experience symptoms, health screenings are vital for early diagnosis and survival.

It is important to note that anyone who has a prostate gland is capable of developing prostate cancer. This includes transgender women, some intersex individuals and nonbinary people who were assigned male at birth. For the purposes of this statistical data resource, we use the terms “man/men” to represent the majority of individuals susceptible to prostate cancer.

This list of current prostate cancer statistics serves as a resource to help shed the stigma, grow your knowledge and dispel any misconceptions you might have about this common cancer.

Prostate Cancer by Age and Other Key Demographics

Prostate cancer generally has excellent survival rates, but certain demographics face heightened risks. Diagnosis and death rates are higher in Black men, men with a family history of the disease and men over the age of 70.

  • Having a family member with a history of prostate cancer more than doubles a man’s risk of developing the disease. Having two affected relatives increases the risk 3.5 times.

    BMC Cancer

  • Men over the age of 65 receive nearly 60% of all prostate cancer diagnoses in America.

    Prostate Cancer Foundation

  • The risk of a prostate cancer diagnosis increases as a person ages: 1 in 451 under 50, 1 in 55 between 50 and 59, 1 in 20 between 60 and 69, and 1 in 12 over 70.

    PCF

  • Black men experience the highest rates of prostate cancer at 183.4 per 100,000 people — in contrast to a rate of 112.7 for all races combined.

    NCI

  • With a rate of 148.9 per 100,000, the state of Louisiana has the highest incidence of new prostate cancer cases in the U.S.

    Asbestos.com

  • Asian and Pacific Islander men have the lowest incidence rate of prostate cancer, with 59.6 new cases per 100,000 people.

    NCI

  • There have been 10 documented cases of trans women diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1975 and 2021.

    BJU International

Frequency of Prostate Cancer

New prostate cancer cases are being diagnosed regularly on both a global and national level. This commonly diagnosed disease continues to rank as a major killer of men around the world.

  • Worldwide, prostate cancer is the 4th most commonly diagnosed cancer.

    ASCO

  • In 2022, the projected number of new cases of prostate cancer represents 14% of all new cancer cases in the United States.

    NCI

  • Prostate cancer is the 2nd most common cancer killing men around the world.

    WHO

  • The American Cancer Society estimates about 268,490 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2022.

    ACS

  • 1 in 8 U.S. men will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis at some point in their lifetime.

    ACS

  • Prostate cancer is the 5th leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.

    NCI

Symptoms and Risk Factors of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is often invisible, showing no signs a body is compromised. Understanding the disease’s risk factors is an important step in developing a medical strategy to keep yourself healthy.

  • Prostate cancer typically causes no symptoms in the early stages.

    ACS

  • Exposure to asbestos fibers increases the risk of prostate cancer. 

    The Permanente Journal

  • 9/11 first responders faced a 24% higher risk of prostate cancer after the attacks on the World Trade Center released large amounts of asbestos and other carcinogens into the area.

    BMJ

  • Having a brother with prostate cancer increases a man’s risk of developing the disease more than having a father with it.

    ACS

  • More advanced prostate cancers may bring symptoms such as:

    • Problems urinating
    • Blood in the urine or semen
    • Painful ejaculation
    • Pain in the hips, back or pelvis

    CDC

  • The most common risk factors for developing prostate cancer are:

    • Age
    • Race
    • Family history
    • Geographic location
    • Gene mutations

    ACS

  • Men with BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutations — a gene linked to increased breast and ovarian cancer in women — may have a higher risk of prostate cancer.

    ACS

  • Tall men face a greater risk of developing prostate cancer.

    BMC Medicine

  • Eating eggs and red meat increases a person's risk of prostate cancer.

    Cancer Prevention Research

Prostate Cancer Detection and Diagnosis

The decision whether to screen for prostate cancer is a personal one made by most men as they age. Screenings aim to identify cancer cells early before they spread.

  • Men identify the discomfort associated with digital rectal exams (DRE), a common screening method for prostate cancer, as one of their top fears when discussing the disease.

    American Journal of Men's Health

  • Almost 90% of all prostate cancers are detected when the cancer is located in the prostate or a region close to it.

    PCF

  • If a transgender woman is identified on her insurance as female but still has an intact prostate gland, she would most likely not be covered for a prostate cancer screening. 

    National LGBT Cancer Network

  • A PSA, or prostate-specific antigen test, is the primary method of screening blood for prostate cancer.

    PCF

  • The American Cancer Society recommends that men get a prostate screening based on the following criteria:

    • Age 50 for men at average risk of prostate cancer
    • Age 45 for men at high risk of prostate cancer (including Black men and those with a first-degree relative diagnosed before age 65)
    • Age 40 for men at even higher risk (specifically those with 2 or more first-degree relatives who had prostate cancer at an early age)

    ACS

  • For every 1,000 men between the ages of 55 and 69 who undergo prostate cancer screening, 1 death will be prevented and 3 men may avoid cancer that can spread.

    CDC

  • 72.8% of prostate cancer cases are diagnosed at the local stage, meaning the cancer is located only in the prostate. 14% are regional (spread to the lymph nodes) and 7% are distant (spread to other parts of the body).

    NCI

Prostate Cancer Survival Rates and Trends

Cancer survival rates identify the percentage of people with cancer who are still alive a certain amount of time after they were diagnosed (typically five years). These stats cannot determine or predict any timelines or prognoses, but they can help create a better understanding of how likely it is that treatment will be successful.

  • An American man dies from prostate cancer every 15 minutes.

    ZeroCancer.org

  • 34,500 deaths from prostate cancer are projected in 2022.

    ACS

  • 96.8% of prostate cancer patients survive 5 years or more after their initial diagnosis.

    NCI

  • The 5-year survival rate drops from 98% to 31% when advanced prostate cancer spreads to bones, organs or distant lymph nodes.

    ZeroCancer.org

  • The 5-year survival for prostate cancer has risen almost 30% since 1975.

    NCI

  • 1 in 41 U.S. men will die from prostate cancer, making it the second leading cause of cancer deaths for men across the nation.

    ACS

  • There are more than 3.1 million American men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lifetime still alive today.

    ACS

Treatments for Prostate Cancer and Side Effects

Because prostate cancer is often slow growing, it’s not recommended for most patients to rush into treatment. Discuss options with your medical team and carefully consider all your personal medical needs before determining the best choice for you.

  • Erectile dysfunction is the most common side effect of prostate cancer treatment, affecting about 40% of men following surgery.

    PCF

  • Watchful waiting is a passive strategy for treating prostate cancer, where doctors do no testing and treat symptoms as they develop. Conversely, active surveillance involves closely monitoring the cancer and treating symptoms as they arise.

    CDC

  • Generally, in most newly diagnosed prostate cancer cases, the potential for a “cure” is the same whether you opt for radiation therapy or surgery.

    PCF

  • The main surgical treatment options for prostate cancer are:

    • Prostatectomy: Removal of the entire prostate gland and some of the surrounding tissue
    • Bilateral orchiectomy: The surgical removal of both testicles

    ASCO

  • Over 30% of prostate cancer patients have “lazy” or slow-growing tumors that are treated best through active surveillance rather than immediate treatment.

    PCF

Common Myths About Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is often not openly discussed, potentially due in part to feelings of shame, fear and embarrassment. This lack of public dialogue can lead to confusion. Here we will dispel some of the myths and misconceptions about prostate cancer.

  • Myth: Surgical removal of your prostate gland is guaranteed to make you incontinent permanently. Truth: Approximately 6-8% of men develop urinary incontinence, a potential side effect of a prostatectomy, but it resolves for most patients over time.

    National Association for Continence

  • Myth: Prostate cancer makes men infertile. Truth: Only some prostate cancer treatment options, such as certain surgeries and radiation therapies, may cause infertility. 

    ACS

  • Myth: Estrogen therapy protects trans women from the risks of prostate cancer.  Truth: Research cannot confirm such protective benefits from estrogen therapy, so trans women are encouraged to be screened for prostate cancer as often as cisgender men.

    Urology

  • Myth: Smoking can lead to prostate cancer.Truth: Smoking causes about 20% of all cancers, but research hasn’t shown a link to prostate cancer.

    ACS

  • Myth: Surgery for prostate cancer will permanently shrink the penis. Truth: Scientists have proven that, after initial shrinkage post-surgery, the penis typically recovers to its pre-surgery length after one year.

    PCF

How to Prevent Prostate Cancer

There is no guaranteed way to prevent prostate cancer, especially with so many risk factors that are impossible to control. Paying attention to body weight, diet and physical activity can provide opportunities to lower the risk of developing cancer.

Improving diet and exercise strategies are some of the most commonly accepted prostate cancer prevention plans. Anti-inflammatory foods such as fish, berries, cooked tomatoes and broccoli may help protect your prostate health. Also, limit your calcium intake, as high amounts have been shown to increase the risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

Depending on your age and other risk factors, consider a PSA test to screen for signs of prostate cancer. Early detection is critical in catching the disease before it spreads. 

Prostate cancer continues to rank as one of the world’s most common cancer diagnoses and a leading cause of death for men. The disease’s tumors are frequently slow to grow and the five-year survivability rate is high, so there is plenty of hope that patients can experience long lives after their diagnoses. The statistics laid out above can be a useful tool to assist in planning the best options for your cancer care plan with your medical team.