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5 Fast Facts: Myths About Prostate Cancer

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Prostate cancer affects men second most commonly after skin cancer. Take 5 minutes to read about the prostate and some common myths about prostate cancer. Share with your loved ones so they can stay on top of their health with regular screenings and early detection.

The prostate is a small gland that sits under the bladder and produces fluid for semen. When prostate cancer develops, it usually does so slowly, and there might not be any symptoms in the early stages. However, as the cancer grows, it may cause problems with urination, sexual function, or pain in the pelvis or lower back. Prostate cancer can be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, or hormone therapy, with the treatment plan depending on the cancer’s stage and the patient’s age and health.

Men should maintain a healthy diet and weight, as obesity has been linked to an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. By taking these steps, men can significantly reduce their risk of developing this disease. When detected at an early stage, prostate cancer can be successfully managed in most cases.

Myth 1: Only elderly men get prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is a condition that affects men and is the second most common type of cancer diagnosed in men worldwide. Just here in the United States, there will be an estimated 268,490 new cases in 2022, with an average age of about 66 at diagnosis.1 The risk of developing the disease increases with age, but much younger men can also be diagnosed in rare cases. In fact, while the American Cancer Society recommends men with an average risk start discussing prostate cancer screenings at age 50, very high-risk individuals should begin as early as age 40.2 This decision should be made after getting information about uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of prostate cancer screening.3

Myth 2: You will feel a tumor if you have prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is commonly asymptomatic, meaning it often produces no symptoms. Additionally, any symptoms can often be mistaken for something else. Getting screened for prostate cancer is critical for early detection because you can unknowingly have the disease for years. No lump or pain will be felt in the early stages of the disease, and symptoms may only arise after the cancer spreads beyond the prostate or the prostate gland swells.4

Myth 3: Prostate cancer ends a man’s sex life

An important goal of surgery is avoiding damage to the surrounding areas to protect sexual and urinary function. Other 5 When sexual performance or enjoyment is limited, it can seriously affect a man’s quality of life. While sexual dysfunction is possible for anyone who receives treatment for prostate cancer, the severity of it depends on factors like a patient’s overall health and sexual function before treatment.6 Although most men will face some sexual difficulties, these issues are often temporary or can be addressed with healthy habits and treatments.7

Myth 4: Prostate cancer is always hereditary

A male in the family had prostate cancer, so you’ll likely get it, too…right? It can be scary when a disease runs in the family, but it is not all bad news. The reality is that if someone’s father or brother had prostate cancer, their risk of a positive diagnosis more than doubles and climbs even higher when several relatives have been affected. Despite this sounding problematic for those with affected family members, most prostate cancer affects men with NO family history of it.8

Myth 5: Prostate cancer doesn’t kill so I shouldn’t worry about it.

Simply put, the sooner you catch prostate cancer, the better. Prostate cancer typically grows and spreads slowly, making it easier to detect and less of a serious diagnosis for many men. The prognosis is often quite good, with 92% of prostate cancers found at early stages, resulting in 100% of these men surviving five years or more. However, only one-third of patients diagnosed with more advanced prostate cancer will live five years after diagnosis.9 In the United States, prostate cancer will kill an estimated 34,500 men in 2022, making it the second leading cause of cancer death.10



  1. Key Statistics for Prostate Cancer -American Cancer Society
  2. Recommendations for Prostate Cancer Early Detection – American Cancer Society
  3. Can Prostate Cancer Be Found Early? – American Cancer Society
  4. Prostate Cancer Symptoms – WebMD
  5. Prostate Cancer: Dealing with Erectile Dysfunction – UCLA Health
  6. How to return to an active sex life after prostate cancer treatment – Cancer Treatment Centers of America
  7. A Healthy Sex Life After Prostate Cancer – WebMD
  8. Prostate Cancer Risk Factors – American Cancer Society
  9. Prostate Cancer Survival Rates: What They Mean – WebMD
  10. Prostate Cancer: Statistics – American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)

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