Survival rates for most types of male reproductive cancers are very good, especially for those patients who have very early stages of cancer. Almost all men diagnosed with early-stage testicular cancer and prostate cancer survive with proper treatment, as do many men who have early-stage penile cancer.
Prostate cancer strikes about one in every 11 Caucasian men and one in every nine African-American men; the diagnosis usually is made at age 70 or older. However, the survival rate (especially in early cases) is excellent; mortality rates for prostate cancer are much lower than incidence rates, because survival of men with this cancer is generally quite high.
In fact, many older men have “silent” prostate cancer that produces few (if any) symptoms and does not affect life expectancy at all. Because most prostate cancers are tiny, are localized, and do not cause symptoms, another 9 million American men may have prostate cancer without knowing it.
Before they spread, up to 90 percent of these cancers can be cured with local treatment, such as radical prostatectomy (surgical removal of the prostate gland) or radiation therapy. Microscopic traces of prostate cancer can be identified in about 30 percent of men at age 60, and 50 percent to 70 percent at age 80. For every 10 years after age 40, the incidence of prostate cancer doubles.
Survival is lowest for older men; almost 80 percent of all deaths occur among men 70 years of age and older. However, in most older men, the prostate cancer does not grow, and many die of other causes and are not identified as having prostate cancer before they die.
About 7,400 men in the United States are diagnosed with testicular cancer each year. Although testicular cancer accounts for only 1 percent of all cancers in men, it is the most common form of cancer in young men between the ages of 15 and 35. Survival rates are very high for most men who have early testicular cancer: More than 95 percent of men who have stage I or stage II testicular cancer are successfully treated. Stage III testicular cancer has about a 75 percent recovery rate.
Cancer of the tissues in the penis is rare in the United States: about 1,400 new cases of penile cancer are diagnosed each year, and an estimated 200 men die. Penile cancer strikes about one American man in every 100,000, accounting for just about 0.2 percent of cancers in men and 0.1 percent of cancer deaths in men in the United States.