Facts & Figures

Facts & Figures

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Who can get prostate cancer?

Anyone with a prostate, regardless of race and background, can get prostate cancer. This includes transgender women, male-assigned non-binary people or intersex people.

How common is prostate cancer?

In Australia, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer. The Australian Health Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) estimates that 25,487 Australian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2023. This is 5% more than in 2022.

Worldwide, prostate cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer and the fifth leading cause of cancer death among men, with an estimated 1,414,000 new cancer cases and 375,304 deaths in 2020.

Nearly 70 Australian men are diagnosed every day, with 1 in 5 at risk of being diagnosed by the time they turn 85 years old, according to the estimates. This is because your risk of prostate cancer increases as you get older.

Of the Australian men predicted to be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2023:

  • 402 (1.6%) will be under 49
  • 3,189 (12.5%) will be 50–59
  • 9,292 (36.5%) will be 60–69
  • 9,276 (36.4%) will be 70–79
  • 3,328 (13.1%) will be over 80

How many men die from prostate cancer in Australia?

Prostate cancer is the 2nd most common cause of death from cancer in Australian men, after lung cancer.

The AIHW data shows deaths from prostate cancer have risen by 25% since 2007, with more than 3,700 men estimated to die from this disease in 2023 – that’s over 10 men a day and 236 more deaths than in 2022. One in 22 men are estimated to be at risk of dying from prostate cancer by their 85th birthday.

However, 95.6% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer will survive for at least five years and 91% will live more than 10 years. Over 250,000 Australian men are alive today after being diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in the past 37 years. Early detection and diagnosis are key to increasing your chance of surviving prostate cancer.

Why is early detection and diagnosis important?

Early detection and diagnosis is lifesaving. Most prostate cancers are slow growing, so if detected early enough you have an excellent chance of survival. Over 98% of men with early-stage prostate cancer will be alive 5 years after diagnosis. This drops to around 36% for men diagnosed with late-stage cancer.

Unfortunately, only 36% of prostate cancers are detected at stage 1 (also called stage I) of the disease – a stage when it can be most effectively treated.

So, it’s important that you watch out for symptoms, know your risk factors (such as family history) and have PSA testing, if it is recommended by your doctor. These simple measures may increase your chances of survival, give you access to medicines and care, and help improve your treatment outcomes.

What are the statistics on other risk factors, such as family history?

Your risk of prostate cancer is higher if your father, brother or other male family members have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

A family history of prostate cancer increases your risk:

  • two-fold (twice the risk) if your father or brother have been diagnosed with prostate cancer
  • five-fold (five times the risk) if you have two or more close male relatives who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer
  • Your risk also increases if you have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer particularly if BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations occur in your family.

You can learn more about your possible risk of prostate cancer by following the link to Risk Factors.

The AIHW data also shows that you are at greater risk if you live in regional or rural areas of Australia, with around a 24% higher risk of dying from prostate cancer than city dwellers.

Indigenous men with prostate cancer are also at greater risk. They have an estimated 86% chance of survival by 5 years after diagnosis, which is lower than the national average.

If you are unsure whether you are at risk for prostate cancer and are worried about it. Talk to your doctor or contact a PCFA nurse for more information and advice.

Testing and Diagnosis – Learn about PSA testing, diagnosis, the stages of prostate cancer, and genetics.

Risk Factors – Find out what might put you at risk for prostate cancer