Prostate Cancer Patient Hero Banner

Prostate cancer

This page was reviewed under our medical and editorial policy by Maurie Markman, MD, President, Medicine & Science

This page was updated on March 8, 2024.

Prostate cancer affects one in eight U.S. men. It is the second-most common cancer among men in the United States, behind skin cancer. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that about 299,010 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2024. While most prostate cancers are slow-growing, some are more aggressive. Approximately one in every 41 men diagnosed will die from the disease, according to the ACS. Black men are reportedly more prone to developing fast-growing prostate cancers that start causing problems earlier and are harder to treat. While a cancer diagnosis can be scary, prostate cancer has high survivor rates, especially when it’s caught and treated early.

No prostate cancer patient is the same. Get personalized treatment.

At City of Hope, our cancer hospitals treat prostate cancer with sophisticated tools like 4D radiation therapy, hormone therapy and immunotherapy. The prostate cancer experts at City of Hope will recommend a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan specific to your diagnosis and individual needs. Each patient’s multidisciplinary care team works together under one roof, treating the prostate cancer while also helping patients manage side effects that may impact bowel, urinary and sexual function.

This overview will cover the basic facts about prostate cancer, including:

If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of prostate cancer and want to schedule an appointment for diagnostic testing, or if you’re interested in a second opinion on your prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment plan, call us or chat online with a member of our team.

What causes prostate cancer?

Who gets prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is rarely diagnosed in men younger than 40. Still, by age 50, it’s common for men to experience changes in the size and shape of the cells in the prostate. Understanding whether these changes are signs of a tumor and knowing your risk for developing prostate cancer are important steps in protecting your health.

Besides age, other risk factors for prostate cancer include:

  • Race: Black men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than men of other races—and are more likely to die from the disease.
  • Family history: The risk of developing prostate cancer is higher among people who have an immediate family member, such as a father, brother or son, who had or currently has prostate cancer.
  • Inherited genetic changes: Several inherited mutations are associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer. Mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes are one example. (BRCA mutations are well-known for their link to breast cancer and ovarian cancer in women.) An inherited condition called Lynch syndrome is also associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer, among other types of cancer.

Keith R.

Prostate Cancer

"My experience was really positive because I sensed that everyone I interacted with truly cared about me. From the doctors, clinicians and nurses to the cafeteria workers, valet and custodial employees, I was treated with warmth and dignity. They knew I was as a patient, but they treated me like a family member. They wanted to see me get better; they wanted me to heal. "


More About KEITH

Prostate cancer signs and symptoms

In the early stages, prostate cancer usually doesn’t show symptoms. However, as prostate cancer grows, it may lead to:

  • Trouble initiating urination
  • Weak, slow or interrupted urine flow
  • Frequent need to urinate, particularly at night
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder fully
  • Incontinence
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Back, hip, chest or pelvis pain that doesn’t subside
  • A burning sensation or pain during urination
  • Difficulty getting an erection

Keep in mind that these symptoms may be caused by something other than prostate cancer. Patients who develop new or concerning symptoms should consult with their doctor or urologist.

Learn more about the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer

Types of prostate cancer

Diagnosing prostate cancer

Because symptoms are often absent in the early stages of prostate cancer, many cases are discovered through routine screening tests.

Getting screened for prostate cancer is an individual decision. It may help to discuss the risks and benefits with a doctor.

Screening for prostate cancer usually involves the following tests:

If either of these suggests the possibility of prostate cancer, doctors typically perform additional tests before making a diagnosis.

The only way to know for sure whether a tumor is cancerous is by examining cells under a microscope, a procedure also known as a prostate biopsy.

Learn about diagnostic procedures for prostate cancer

Prostate cancer stages

Prostate cancer treatment options

Deciding on prostate cancer treatment is a personal decision made between a patient and his care team. Factors such as preferences, age, health history and the cancer stage all play a role in the decision-making process.

Treatment may involve one or a combination of these options:

Other therapies that are used less commonly, or are not considered standard treatment for prostate cancer, include:

Learn more about treatments for prostate cancer

City of Hope approach to helping you maintain your quality of life