Prostate Cancer
Fact Sheet
General Population
  • Annual cases: -239,0001
  • Median age at diagnosis: 661
  • Overall 5-year relative survival rate: 99.2%1
  • Lifetime risk in general population: 15.3% in men1
  • Risk with an affected 1st degree relative: 2.2-3.1x the general population risk2,3

Associated Myriad myRisk™ Genes:



The prostate is a walnut sized reproductive gland in males. It is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum.

The focus of this document is on prostate adenocarcinoma, which accounts for 95% of all prostate cancers. Other types of prostate cancer include sarcomas, small cell carcinomas, and transitional cell carcinomas.

Compared to many other cancers, prostate cancer tends to grow slowly. Consequently, many men with prostate cancer may die of some other cause before the prostate cancer causes any symptoms. However, some prostate cancers do grow rapidly and can potentially impact survival and quality of life.

Signs and Symptoms4,5,6

Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms. Signs and symptoms of advanced prostate cancer may include: frequency urination; weak or interrupted urine flow; loss of bladder or bowel control; blood in the urine or seminal fluid; impotence; discomfort when sitting; pain in the back, hips, thighs, chest, shoulders or other bones; weakness or numbness in the legs or feet; unexplained weight loss; fatigue; high PSA levels (PSA: a protein produced by prostate cells).

Diagnosis and work-up

Screening Options7

Medical guidelines recommend the general population with average risk of prostate cancer to begin risk and benefit discussion with their providers about baseline digital rectal examination (DRE) and PSA at age 40.

Treatment Options4,5,6

Early-advanced stage cancer

Because of the slow-growing nature of many prostate cancers as well as the side effects associated with treating prostate cancer, the type of treatment used should take into account many individual factors, including age, life expectancy, cancer stage & grade, and other medical conditions. Active surveillance for any sign that the cancer may be growing or changing may be an option for early stage prostate cancer. This will entail frequent doctor visits and tests, such as DRE, PSA tests, and biopsies.

The most common treatment for prostate cancer is a prostatectomy - a surgery to remove the cancerous prostate from the body. Lymph nodes from the pelvis may be removed for analysis. Surgery is generally recommended for men with early stage or low-grade cancers but is sometimes used at advanced stages to relieve symptoms. Radiation therapy and hormonal therapy may be used as neoadjuvant or adjuvant therapy for better outcome.

Localized low grade prostate cancer may benefit from radiation therapy with hormonal therapy as the primary treatment.

Metastatic stage cancer

If the cancer has spread, hormonal therapy and other methods may be suggested to slow cancer growth and alleviate symptoms. If standard treatments are not effective, chemotherapy and clinical trials may be options.

Risk Factors3,4,5

Demographics: Older age; ethnicity-African-American

Lifestyle: Diet high in red meat & high-fat dairy

Medical History: High levels of androgen hormones, highgrade PIN, proliferative inflammatory atrophy

Risk reduction options: Healthy lifestyle

Inherited: Family history of disease; inherited genetic syndromes

Associated Myriad MyRisk™ Genes: BRCA1, BRCA2, TP53, CHEK2, NBN


  1. Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program, National Cancer Institute ( Dec 10, 2013.
  2. Goldgar DE, Easton DF, Cannon-Albright LA, Skolnick MH. Systematic population-based assessment of cancer risk in first-degree relatives of cancer probands. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1994 Nov 2;86(21):1600-8. PubMed PMID: 7932824.
  3. Kicinski M, Vangronsveld J, Nawrot TS. An epidemiological reappraisal of the familial aggregation of prostate cancer: a meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2011;6(10):e27130. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027130. Epub 2011 Oct 31. PubMed PMID: 22073129; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3205054.
  4. American Society of Clinical Oncology: Prostate Cancer ( Dec 10, 2013.
  5. American Cancer Society: Prostate Cancer ( Dec 10, 2013.
  6. National Cancer Institute: Prostate treatment ( Dec 10, 2013.
  7. Presti, JC et al. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in OncologyR: Prostate Cancer Early Detection. Version 1.2014.