September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

join with the aacr to find better ways to prevent and treat prostate cancer

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer diagnosed in men, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men, after lung cancer.

The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds part of the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder). The prostate gland produces fluid that makes up part of semen. 

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), almost all prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas (cancers that begin in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids). Prostate cancer often has no early symptoms. Advanced prostate cancer can cause men to urinate more often or have a weaker flow of urine, but these symptoms can also be caused by benign prostate conditions.

Because of effective screening options for prostate cancer, the disease is often caught before it spreads, and as a whole, survival rates are good for this type of cancer.

The NCI’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program estimates that more than 299,010 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 35,250 men are expected to die of the disease in 2024. 

Prostate cancer is more common in older men. It is more likely to occur in men with a family history of prostate cancer and in men of African-American descent. Other risk factors include smoking, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise. In the United States, about 11 percent of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point during their lifetimes.

African-American men continue to have the highest death rate for prostate cancer of any racial or ethnic group in the United States. In the period 2015-2019, Black men were twice as likely to die from prostate cancer as white men. Scientists believe the disparity stems from both genetic and socioeconomic factors.

one man’s story

Colbert English of Philadelphia has stage IV (metastatic) prostate cancer and is doing well on two medications. He has participated in a clinical research study at Fox Chase Cancer Center to try to help make things better for other patients.  Read his story in the AACR Cancer Progress Report 2023.

an important perspective

Choices about screening and treatment for early-stage prostate cancer are complex and largely personal, according to an article in Cancer Today magazine. Read more: Balancing Early-Stage Prostate Cancer Decisions

What the AACR IS Doing in Prostate Cancer Research

In March 2023, the AACR Special Conference: Advances in Prostate Cancer Research was held in Denver, Colorado. This meeting brought together experts from around the world to hear and discuss the latest findings on such topics as mechanisms of disease progression, genomic heterogeneity, epigenomic mechanisms, tumor microenvironment and immunotherapy, detection, and diagnosis of prostate cancer.

for more information

Please see our page on prostate cancer for more information about prevention, screening, and treatment.