Prostate cancer occurs when cells displaying uncontrolled growth arise in the prostate. This unregulated growth forms small structures known as tumors. Typically, prostate cancer is comprised of several very small, primary tumors. The term “primary” is used to identify a tumor that originates in the prostate. A “secondary” tumor, conversely, identifies a tumor that has spread to the prostate from another location in the body.
Prostate cancer is a highly curable disease. In fact, men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer see nearly 100% cure rates. Early-stage prostate cancer, characterized by the presence of localized tumors, is extremely sensitive to surgery and radiation therapy. Early-stage prostate cancer, although curable, is often difficult for the patient to detect because it produces few or no symptoms. As a result, symptomatic prostate cancer is usually late-stage and less curable. This underscores the importance of regular prostate exams, cancer screening, and research that is focused on early detection.
Cancer statistics allow us to visualize the impact of cancer on the medical community and on society as a whole. Information obtained from statistical data directs the focus and funding of research. This data guides private and federal research dollars into the arenas that need them the most.
- In 2008, more than 186,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States.
- In 2008, more than 28,000 men died from prostate cancer in the United States.
- 1 in 6 men are affected by prostate cancer.
- Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in the United States.
- Non-smoking men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than they are to develop colon, bladder, melanoma, lymphoma, and kidney cancers combined.
- Men are 35% more likely to develop prostate cancer than women are to develop breast cancer.
- A man is diagnosed with prostate cancer every 2.5 minutes in the United States.
- A man dies from prostate cancer every 19 minutes in the United States.
- Estimates suggest that more than two million men are living with prostate cancer in the United States.
What Has Research Done for Prostate Cancer?
In the 1970s, 67% of men diagnosed with localized or regional prostate cancer were disease-free after five years. Today, nearly 100% of men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer are disease-free after five years. Research has already led to the development of more precise and efficient diagnostic methods, more effective treatment options, and more comprehensive risk management strategies.
Prostate cancer has been the recipient of much-deserved media and research attention over the past few decades. As a result, the prostate cancer community is surrounded with success story after success story. But don’t assume that the battle is over. Prostate cancer is still a very real threat to men’s health. A prostate cancer diagnosis can be very traumatic and life-altering. With the help of social networks, a variety of educational resources, and the hard work and determination of researchers around the world, the outlook for prostate cancer patients will continue climbing towards the cure.
The following organizations are leading the way in prostate cancer research. By their efforts, we have seen prostate cancer survival rates steadily rise. The road to a cure is paved with the achievements of research.
- Prostate Cancer Research Institute (PCRI)
- Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) | 1.800.757.CURE (2873)
- Prostate Cancer Research Fund
- Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF). 2009. Retrieved on May 6, 2009 from <http://www.prostatecancerfoundation.org/>.
- Prostate Cancer Research Fund. Retrieved on May 6, 2009 from <http://www.prostatecancerresearch.org.au/research.htm>.
- The Krongrad Institute Site. Retrieved on May 6, 2009 from <http://www.laprp.com/cq_prostate.php.>.