Famous People with Prostate Cancer

Build Awareness and Know Your Risk

Prostate Exam. Credit: Yvonne Hemsey / Contributor / Getty Images

Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer that affects men. In the U.S., over 30,000 men die of it every year. Many famous figures have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and their diagnoses can help to build awareness for the disease. Here is a list of some famous men diagnosed with prostate cancer, and how you can tell if you're at risk.

Famous Men Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer

  • Harry Belafonte: Singer and actor
  • Bob Dole: Former Republican senator from Kansas
  • Robert De Niro: Actor and director
  • Rudy Giuliani: Former New York City mayor
  • Charlton Heston: Actor
  • John Kerry: United States Secretary of State since 2013
  • Nelson Mandela: Former president of South Africa and anti-apartheid activist
  • Francois Mitterand: Former president of France
  • Roger Moore: Actor
  • Arnold Palmer: Golfer
  • Colin Powell: Retired Secretary of State
  • Frank Zappa: Musician

Prostate Cancer Awareness

In addition to celebrities who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, there has been a big push in recent years to raise awareness around the disease. Every September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, during which resources are allocated to educate men about their risks for the disease and their options for treatment. In addition, the Movember Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, raises funds every year by asking men to grow beards in November ("Movember") for men's health.

Their efforts help to build awareness and raise funds for curing cancers that occur in men.

Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer

  • Age: The number one risk factor for being diagnosed with prostate cancer is age. Although prostate cancer can occur in men as young as 40 to 50 years old, about 70 percent of all those diagnosed with prostate cancer are over the age of 65. Those fortunate to live into their 80s will find that four out of five men will have some kind of cancerous prostate condition.
  • Race:  Certain racial and ethnic groups are at more risk than others. African American men have a higher death rate than any other racial or ethnic group. Overall survival rates for prostate cancer have increased from 67 percent to 97 percent in the past 20 years. However,according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, decreases in prostate cancer deaths for caucasians, Asians and Pacific Islanders were twice as great as they were for African Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives and Hispanics.
  • Genetics: Research on the likelihood of prostate cancer to run in families is ongoing. It has been suggested that if your father or brother has had prostate cancer you are twice as likely to develop it; in other studies no link has been found. Prostate screening may therefore be more important for men with an apparent genetic predisposition.

More Prostate Cancer Resources

Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer: What Are the Most Important Things to Know About Diagnosing Prostate Cancer?

How Can Prostate Cancer Be Detected Without Symptoms?​

Prostate Cancer Basics: Three Key Questions Everyone Must Have Answered About Prostate Cancer

Timing Matters: When to Be Screened for Prostate Cancer​

What Does a High PSA Level Test Result Mean?

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