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Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer in the most common cancer among men in almost in Ohio. Prostate cancer can occur at any age, but it becomes more common as men grow older. From 2003 to 2007, 27 percent, or an annual average of 7,961 new cancer diagnoses, and 10 percent, or an annual average of 1,232 cancer deaths in Ohio men, were due to prostate cancer. The rate of prostate cancer mortality declined 40 percent from 1991 (42.1 per 100,000) to 2007 (25.2 per 100,000). Although this decline was similar among white and African-American men, in 2007 the cancer mortality rate for African-American men remained more than two times that of white males.

Risk Factors

Although a specific cause is unknown, several risk factors may contribute to the development of prostate cancer. They include:
  • Age – about two-thirds of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over 65
  • Race/ethnicity – African-American men are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than white men and often at a more advanced stage. Prostate cancer is less common among Asian American and Hispanic men compared to white men
  • Family History – having a father or brother with prostate cancer increases risk of developing the disease. Risk is even higher for men with several affected relatives, particularly if those relatives were diagnosed at a young age
  • Genetic changes – men with genetic changes in one or more specific regions of certain chromosomes have increased risk. Risk increases with the number of genetic changes. In addition, changes in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 increase risk
  • Prostate changes – men with abnormal prostate cells, called high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, may have increased risk

Prevention and Early Detection

American Cancer Society guidelines recommend that asymptomatic men who have at least a 10-year life expectancy make an informed decision with their health care provider about whether to be screened for prostate cancer. This decision should be made after receiving information about the uncertainties, risks and potential benefits associated with prostate cancer screening. Men at average risk should receive this information beginning at age 50. Men at higher risk, including African-American men and men with a father or brother diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65, should receive this information beginning at age 45. Men with multiple family members diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65 should receive this information beginning at age 40.

Asymptomatic men who have less than a 10-year life expectancy based on age and health status should not be offered prostate cancer screening. Men in this group are not likely to benefit from prostate cancer screening.

For More Information

For more information on prostate cancer visit the Comprehensive Cancer Control Program's Resources Page.


Last Reviewed 5/17/12