The Epidemiology of Prostate Cancer

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2018 Dec 3;8(12):a030361. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a030361.


Prostate cancer is a major cause of disease and mortality among men, and each year 1.6 million men are diagnosed with and 366,000 men die of prostate cancer. In this review, we discuss the state of evidence for specific genetic, lifestyle, and dietary factors associated with prostate cancer risk. Given the biological heterogeneity of this cancer, we focus on risk factors for advanced or fatal prostate cancer. First, we provide descriptive epidemiology statistics and patterns for prostate cancer incidence and mortality around the world. This includes discussion of the impact of prostate-specific antigen screening on prostate cancer epidemiology. Next, we summarize evidence for selected risk factors for which there is strong or probable evidence of an association: genetics, obesity and weight change, physical activity, smoking, lycopene and tomatoes, fish, vitamin D and calcium, and statins. Finally, we highlight future directions for prostate cancer epidemiology research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Black People / statistics & numerical data
  • Body Height
  • Coffee
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Exercise
  • Fishes
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Medical History Taking
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Protective Factors
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Solanum lycopersicum
  • Vitamin D


  • Coffee
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Vitamin D