Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer in American men. It is a slow-growing, potentially lethal disease usually found in men over the age of 50. Although cases of the disease have been reported in all age groups, more than 80 percent of all prostate cancers occur in men over the age of 65.
According to the National Cancer Institute, doctors diagnosed 198,100 new cases of prostate cancer in 2001, and about 31,500 men died from the disease. That means about 19 out of every 100 men born today will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and four of every 100 men will die from the disease, or about one death every 16 minutes.
Age is the most important risk factor for contracting prostate cancer. Others are race, family history and environment. The incidence of prostate cancer is 40 percent higher for African-American men than for white men, and the number who will die is double that of white men.