Answering the question 'How many men have prostate problems?' is not as easy as it might appear.
Although there is plenty of data available on prostate cancer, there are many other forms of, to use use the jargon, LUTs (lower urinary tract symptoms) for which the statistics are less easy to find.
In a 2005 paper in the British Journal of Urology, the authors write: 'estimates of the prevalence of LUTS in the male population vary considerably depending upon the definitions and criteria adopted by investigators. Reviews of published reports are complicated by changes in terminology that have been adopted over the years.' They say that: 'Autopsy data indicate anatomical or microscopic evidence of BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate) pathology in nearly all elderly men', with the following prevalence at different ages:
However, they say, 'it is estimated that only 25–50% of those with anatomical evidence of prostatic enlargement consult their GP about these symptoms.'
Cancer Research Uk have a good page on prostate cancer stats. They say prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. It affects one man in 14. A quarter of all new cases of cancer diagnosed in men are prostate cancers. Over the last 30 years prostate cancer rates in Great Britain have almost tripled, although much of the increase is due to increased detection through widespread use of the PSA test.
There is some basic information on prostate symptoms on the website of Prostate UK who estimate that one in two men will suffer from a prostate disease at some stage in their lives. They say Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia affects almost 50% of men beyond middle age while Prostatitis affects about 1 in 15 mainly younger and middle-aged men.
A 2006 article based on over 1000 US men aged over 50 published in Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases found that 'A quarter of men suffered moderate to severe LUTS and 55% of those consulting a doctor had enlarged prostates'.
Page created on October 7th, 2010
Page updated on October 7th, 2010