More than 100,000 men in the United States have metastatic prostate cancer, and the prevalence is expected to increase, according to investigators.

“Our results provide a detailed window into the burden of [metastatic prostate cancer] in the population, indicating that the number of men living with [metastatic prostate cancer] is substantial and likely to grow dramatically over the next decade,” a team led by Theresa P. Devasia, PhD, of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, wrote in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

The study is noteworthy because it provides prevalence estimates that include both de novo metastatic prostate cancer and metastatic prostate cancer that develops following post-treatment recurrence. Cancer registries, they pointed out, only collect data on de novo metastatic prostate cancer, thereby providing “a partial picture” of the metastatic prostate cancer burden in the United States.

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The investigators estimated that 120,400 men in the United States were living with metastatic prostate cancer on January 1, 2018. Of these men, 45% had de novo disease and 55% had recurrent disease. The investigators project that the prevalence will rise to 192,500 men by 2030.

The study revealed a higher prevalence of metastatic prostate cancer among Black men compared with White men (137.1 vs 62.2 per 100,000 men), Dr Devasia and colleagues reported. The authors calculated that approximately 3.5% and 4.8% of prevalent prostate cancer cases in White and Black men, respectively, are metastatic.

“Prevalence is an absolute measure that reflects the number of cases with a specific condition and is the most directly tied to expected resource needs for disease management and control,” Dr Devasia and colleagues concluded. “In advocating for resources to address prostate cancer now and in the future, we therefore propose that the prevalence of metastatic disease be cited in addition to overall prevalence as a key measure of the burden of prostate cancer in the population.”


Devasia TP, Mariotto AB, Nyame YA, Etzioni R. Estimating the number of men living with metastatic prostate cancer in the United States. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. Published online January 30, 2023. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-22-1038