Did you know approximately 220,800 men will be told they have prostate cancer this year? Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in America, affecting 1 in 7 men. Odds increase to 1 in 5 if they are African American, and 1 in 3 if they have a family history.

Lay of the land

It is important for men to know their risk and talk to their doctors so they can determine if prostate cancer screening is right for them. Risk factors for prostate cancer include age, family history and race.

The American Urological Association (AUA) recommends men ages 55 to 69 with an average risk for prostate cancer talk to their health care provider about whether cancer screening is right for them.

"Prostate cancer patients who participate in the clinical trials provide vital knowledge to researchers and fellow cancer patients."

For those age 40 to 54, and with a higher risk for being diagnosed with prostate cancer—this includes African-American men or those with a family history—the AUA recommends discussing prostate cancer screening options with your health care provider to assess the benefits and risks of testing.

How trials help

Clinical trials are one of the reasons doctors know so much about prostate cancer and its associated risk factors. They give researchers new insights into prostate cancer, including how it’s detected and treated. Prostate cancer clinical trials test new drugs and drug combinations, surgical and radiation therapy techniques, innovative diagnostic technologies and tactics for maintaining quality of life in men undergoing treatment.

It is important for doctors and researchers to continue clinical trials and for patients to participate in them. Prostate cancer clinical trials give new options to patients who need them most, allowing researchers to collect data so the treatment can be approved and made available to the public—or rejected for safety concerns.

Why me?

Prostate cancer patients who participate in the clinical trials provide vital knowledge to researchers and fellow cancer patients. These patients also get access to treatment years before it could be made publicly available.

Men with all stages of prostate cancer can participate in clinical trials. Making the decision to volunteer in a clinical trial is personal. If you have questions about clinical trials and whether you should participate, seek input from family, friends, physicians and other health care providers. For more information on prostate cancer clinical trials, visit the clinical trials page on UrologyHealth.org.