Prostate cancer is second only to skin cancer as the most common type of cancer to affect men in the United States. According to the latest estimates from the American Cancer Society, the year 2010 will see an increase in the number of new cases of prostate cancer and deaths related to the disease: about 217,730 men will receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer, and about 32,050 men will die of the disease. This compares with an estimated 192,280 new diagnoses and 27,360 deaths in 2009.
Overall, about 16 percent, or one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. More than 2 million men in America are now living with a diagnosis of the disease. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States, accounting for about 11 percent of cancer-related deaths in men. However, prostate cancer often progresses slowly and many men who have the disease die of other causes.
In fact, the most recent research shows that the relative 5-year survival rate (percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after a cancer diagnosis) for all men with prostate cancer is nearly 100 percent. (Five-year relative survival rates compare the observed survival with that expected for people who do not have cancer.) The relative 10-year survival rate is 91 percent, while it is 76 percent for 15 years. Given the continuing improvements in screening, diagnosis, and treatment for prostate cancer, men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer today likely will have an even better prognosis than those who have been living with the disease.