chapter  12
16 Pages

Prostate Cancer

ByJoseph S. Chan, Christopher W. Ryan, Nicholas J. Vogelzang

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. Although prostate cancer does affect younger men, it is mostly a disease of the elderly, with a median age at diagnosis of 66 years (1). In 2005, the estimated number of new cases of prostate cancer is over 230,000-approximately one-third of all cancer cases in men (2). Prostate cancer is also the second leading cause of cancer death in men, with more than 30,000 deaths estimated for 2005. The cause of prostate cancer is unknown, although racial, genetic, and dietary factors have been implicated (1). Older age remains the greatest risk factor for development of prostate cancer. At autopsy, over two-thirds of men over 80 years of age have asymptomatic ‘‘latent’’ prostate cancer (3). The probability of developing prostate cancer increases from 1 in 39 during the ages of 40 to 59 to 1 in 7 during the ages of 60 to 79. While there are relatively few deaths from prostate cancer under the age of 60, it is the third leading cause of cancer death in men aged 60 to 79, and the second leading cause of cancer death in men aged 80 and over (2).