Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer among men in New York City, after skin cancer. It often grows slowly, with no symptoms in the early stages.

Each year in NYC, about 680 men die from prostate cancer, and an average of about 5,300 men are newly diagnosed. Prostate cancer affects men of all racial and ethnic groups. In 2016 in NYC, the death rate among Black men (36.5 deaths per 100,000 men) was double that of White men (18.3) and Latino men (16.8). Asian/Pacific Islander men (5.5) had the lowest death rate from prostate cancer.

As a man ages, it is natural for his prostate to become larger. This may lead to some health problems with urinary and sexual function. These issues can be similar to the symptoms of prostate cancer. Your health care provider can help you understand what your symptoms mean.

Risk Factors

You may be more at risk for prostate cancer if you:

  • Are a Black man. The risk of dying from prostate cancer is more than twice as high for Black men as for White, Latino or Asian men.
  • Are 55 or older, as most cases occur in men who are within this age range.
  • Have a family history of prostate cancer.

Talk to your health care provider about your risks. Be sure to tell them if you have a family history of prostate cancer.

Reduce Your Risk

Researchers are still studying ways to prevent prostate cancer.

Screening

Talk with your health care provider about the potential benefits and harms of screening for prostate cancer. The decision to get screened or not is a personal one.

Some prostate cancers grow and spread quickly, while others grow so slowly that they do not cause harm. Side effects of treatment can include incontinence and erectile dysfunction. It is important for you to balance the potential benefits and risks of screening based on your personal and family history, concerns and other medical conditions.

One of the more common ways to screen for prostate cancer is with a blood test that measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood. If your PSA level indicates you may have cancer, next steps could include a repeat PSA test, imaging, a biopsy or other tests.

Payment

If you do not have insurance, you may be eligible to sign up for low- or no-cost coverage. You can also get free in-person assistance signing up for a plan.

Additional Resources

More Information