The prostate is a walnut-sized gland found only in the male reproductive system located between the bladder and the penis, just in front of the rectum. The urethra (the tube that carries the urine from the bladder to outside the body) runs through the center of the prostate. The prostate secretes fluid that nourishes and protects the sperm.
What Are Some Possible Problems With The Prostate?
Most men will develop some form of non-cancerous prostate enlargement during their lifetime that is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In fact, about half of all men in their 50s and about 80% of men in their 80s have some symptoms of BPH. Symptoms of BPH may include dribbling after urination or a need to urinate often, which frequently happens at night. Some other prostate problems include prostatitis (an inflammation of the prostate that is usually caused by a bacterial infection) and prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Statistics
Prostate cancer is cancer that forms in the tissues of the prostate which occurs more often in older men. It is estimated that there were 217,730 new cases of prostate cancer and 32,050 prostate cancer deaths in the United States in 2010.
From 2004 to 2008, the median age at which prostate cancer was diagnosed was 67 (9.1% between 45 and 54; 30.7% between 55 and 64; 35.3% between 65 and 74; 19.9% between 75 and 84; and, 4.4% age 85 and older). From 2003 to 2007, the median age for death from prostate cancer was 80 (1.4% between 45 and 54; 7.5% between 55 and 64; 19.9% between 65 and 74; 40.3% between 75 and 84; and, 30.8% age 85 and older). The death rate was highest for Blacks followed in descending order by Whites, American Indians/Native Alaskans, and Hispanics (the death rate for Blacks was more than two times the death rate for Whites). The overall 5-year survival rate for 2001 to 2007 was 99.4% (99.7% for Whites and 96.2% for Blacks).
On January 1, 2008, there were about 2,355,464 men alive in the U.S. who had a history of prostate cancer. It is estimated that about 16.22% of men born today will have a diagnosis of prostate cancer sometime in their lifetime (that is, about 1 in 6). About 8.3% of men will develop prostate cancer between the ages of 50 and 70.
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