One in ten men will develop clinically significant prostate cancer in their lifetime. It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in American males with 250 000 new cases reported annually. Prostate cancer is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in both the USA and the UK. Prostate cancer is rare among Orientals. It is more common in black than white Americans. The disease appears to present at a younger age and behave more aggressively in American blacks.
Prostate cancer is common in South Africa and probably underreported as a cause of death. The exact incidence in South Africa is not known as no large-scale epidemiological studies have been performed. It is uncertain whether prostate cancer is more common in South African blacks as compared to whites.
In very old men prostate cancer is not always clinically significant. Autopsy data indicate a 70% incidence of prostate cancer in 80 year old men. The majority of these men died with rather than from prostate cancer.
The lowdown on your prostate
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