Prostate cancer is most prevalent in males over age 50 years. African American males and those with a family history of the disease may be at higher risk after age 40 years.
Prostate cancer is one of the
Prostate cancer screening involves looking for signs of the disease before it causes symptoms so doctors can treat the cancer before it spreads.
Some doctors recommend regular screening for males aged 55–69 years. However, this should be a personal decision.
This article looks at the prevalence of prostate cancer at different ages, screening in different age groups, and survival rates.
Learn more about prostate cancer.
A note about sex and gender
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. Click here to learn more.
The risk of prostate cancer increases with age. Based on
For African American males, the incidence is higher, even compared with Black males in other countries. African American males have the
African American males are also at risk of developing prostate cancer at a younger age.
Doctors may not suggest early screening for prostate cancer, as there are potential risks involved in the screening process. However, people may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks.
Screening tests for prostate cancer can help doctors identify possible signs of cancer, but they cannot tell if someone has prostate cancer. A doctor will typically perform a biopsy to determine whether someone has prostate cancer.
According to the
According to the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), males aged 55–69 years should discuss the potential benefits and risks of prostate cancer screening with a doctor before deciding whether to begin screening.
Possible risks of prostate cancer screening include:
- false-positive results, which may lead to more testing and a prostate biopsy
- treatment complications, such as incontinence
overdiagnosisand overtreatment, where screening detects cancer that will never cause symptoms, leading to unnecessary treatment
A 5-year survival rate compares people with a specific condition, such as prostate cancer, with the overall population. It indicates how likely they are to survive for at least 5 years following their diagnosis.
Survival rates for prostate cancer are generally high.
According to the
- Localized prostate cancer: The 5-year survival rate is higher than 99% for people with prostate cancer that has not spread outside the prostate.
- Regional prostate cancer: The 5-year survival rate is higher than 99% for people whose cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or structures.
- Distant prostate cancer: The 5-year survival rate is 32% for people whose cancer has spread to distant sites such as the lungs or bones.
Males over 50 years old have the highest risk of developing prostate cancer. Overall, prostate cancer affects roughly
Males aged 55–69 years may choose to undergo prostate cancer screening. People can discuss the potential risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening with a doctor and make an informed choice.
African American males and males with a family history of prostate cancer may benefit from earlier screening at age 40–45 years.
Screening for prostate cancer does not constitute a diagnosis but may prompt help further testing, such as a prostate biopsy.