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Death rates from prostate cancer have been declining in recent years. According to these statistics, nearly 29,000 men died of the disease in 2003, compared to the nearly 2 million men estimated to have it. Other statistics on prostate cancer indicate that a man has a 17 percent chance of being diagnosed with the disease during his lifetime.

Prostate Cancer Statistics: An Overview

Until the last several years, prostate cancer death rates had been rising steadily. For example, the disease killed 17 of every 100,000 American men in 1932. By 1991, this number had reached 25 in 100,000. Since then, however, the death rates have been declining.
The reasons for both the earlier increase and the recent decline in death rates are unclear. Nearly 29,000 men died of prostate cancer in 2003. There are approximately 2 million men alive today with a history of the disease.

Statistics Comparing Prostate Cancer to Other Diseases

Among the leading causes of cancer-related death in men, prostate cancer is second, behind lung cancer. When compared with all causes of death in men over age 45, prostate cancer ranks fifth.

The Link Between Age and Prostate Cancer

The older you are, the greater the risk for getting prostate cancer. The remarkably sharp increase in incidence with age is a hallmark of the disease. Sixty percent of all newly diagnosed cases and almost 80 percent of all deaths occur in men 70 years of age and older.
From 1998 to 2002, the median age at diagnosis was 68 years. The percentages of people diagnosed with prostate cancer based on age were as follows:
  • 0.0 percent were diagnosed under age 20
  • 0.0 percent between 20 and 34
  • 0.5 percent between 35 and 44
  • 8.3 percent between 45 and 54
  • 26.9 percent between 55 and 64
  • 37.0 percent between 65 and 74
  • 22.6 percent between 75 and 84
  • 4.7 percent 85+ years of age.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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