Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer refers to cancer that starts in the prostate gland, which is only found in men. While there are several types of prostate cancers, by far the most common type are called adenocarcinomas.

While some prostate cancers can grow and spread quickly, most grow slowly and may never end up getting diagnosed. Studies of autopsies of older men who died of causes other than cancer show that most also had prostate cancer that never affected them during their lives.

Research and screening guidelines on genes associated with hereditary prostate cancer are still in their early stages. It is part of the Color service to keep you updated if any information related to your results changes.

How Common Is Prostate Cancer?1

13% of new cancers diagnosed in men

Prostate cancer makes up 13% of all new cancers diagnosed in men each year. It is the second most common cancer, after lung cancer, in men in the US.

1 in 7 men

Approximately 1 in 7 men (14%) will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime.

As women do not have a prostate gland, they are not at risk for prostate cancer.

Women and breast cancer risk

Risk among US women to develop breast cancer. 

Men and male breast cancer risk

Risk among US men to develop male breast cancer.

How Genetic Mutations Increase Prostate Cancer Risk

Mutations are rare, but when they exist, they significantly increase cancer risk. A recent study found that up to 12% of men with advanced prostate cancer had a mutation in a hereditary cancer risk gene.3 Research and screening guidelines on genes associated with hereditary prostate cancer are still in their early stages. It is part of the Color service to keep you updated if any information related to your results changes.

Men and male prostate cancer risk

Risk among US men to develop prostate cancer.

Interesting Information2

Men of certain ethnicities have a higher risk to develop prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is more common in African American men and in Caribbean men of African ancestry than in men of other ethnicities. African American men are also more likely to die of prostate cancer when compared to men of other ethnicities.

Family history strongly influences the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles a man’s risk of prostate cancer. The risk is even higher for men with multiple relatives with prostate cancer, especially if their relatives were young when the cancer was diagnosed.

Prostate cancer is much more common in older men.

About 60% of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men who are older than age 65. Men with hereditary mutations that increase the risk of prostate cancer may develop it at younger ages.

Useful Resources

REFERENCES

  1. SEER Cancer Statistics Factsheets: Female Breast Cancer
    . Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, National Cancer Institute Website. Accessed April 7, 2015. Available at seer.cancer.gov.
  2. What are the risk factors for breast cancer?. American Cancer Society Website. Updated February 22, 2016. Available at www.cancer.org.
  3. Pritchard CC, Mateo J, Walsh MF, et al. Inherited DNA-Repair Gene Mutations in Men with Metastatic Prostate Cancer. N Engl J Med. 2016;375(5):443-53.