Prostatic disease appears to represent an essentially inevitable sequelae of aging in a human male. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimated that during 2007 approximately 219,000 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed in the United States, and 27,050 men died of prostate cancer.
It is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in males, with African-Americans having almost a two-fold greater risk of death. One new case is diagnosed every 2.5 minutes, and a man dies from prostate cancer every 17 minutes. About 1 man in 6 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, but only 1 man in 33 will die of this disease.
Over 2 million American men currently are living with prostate cancer, and more than 1.8 million men are survivors of prostate cancer. A nonsmoking man is more likely to get prostate cancer than lung, bronchus, colon, rectal, bladder, lymphoma, melanoma, oral and kidney cancers combined, and is 33% more likely to develop prostate cancer than an American woman is to get breast cancer.
Prostate cancer is predominately a disease of elderly men with the diagnosis of prostate cancer rare before age 40, but increasing dramatically thereafter. Although clearly an age-related disease, small prostate cancer foci are present in up to 29% of males 30 to 40 years of age.
Each year, 70,000 men require additional treatment due to recurrence. Current treatment options for prostate cancer cost the US health care system $8 billion per year, and these approaches are not curative.