Statistics from the American Cancer Society say that 1 out of every 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. Though we still don’t know the exact cause of prostate cancer, there are risk factors that you should be aware of in order to know if you are in a higher risk category. Who is at risk for prostate cancer?
Age Increases The Risk For Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is more prevalent in men as they get older. It is rare for men under 40 to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, while about a third of all cases are diagnosed in men over the age of 75. There is no “magic number,” but there is a correlation between age and prostate cancer.
Ethnicity And Nationality And The Risk For Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer occurs more often in African-American men than in men of other races. It occurs less often in Asian-American and Hispanic men. North America, Europe, Australia and the Caribbean are the places with the highest concentrations of prostate cancer. Asia, Africa, and Central and South America have the fewest diagnosed cases of prostate cancer. Scientists don’t know the reasons for the difference in the ethnicity and nationality risk factors.
Family History Increases The Risk For Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer seems to run in families. If your father or brother was diagnosed with prostate cancer, then you are at a higher risk for prostate cancer as well. Having a brother with prostate cancer more than doubles your risk, and is actually a slightly greater increase in risk than if your father has been diagnosed. The risk also seems to be greater if your relative was diagnosed at a younger age. There is ongoing research in an attempt to learn about a genetic link for prostate cancer.
Previous Cancer Diagnosis Increases The Risk For Prostate Cancer
If you have been diagnosed for another type of cancer, such as kidney cancer or lung cancer, then this increases your risk of developing prostate cancer.
Other Risks For Prostate Cancer
There are many studies trying to show a link between prostate cancer and lifestyle factors. There is a slight correlation between men who consume large amounts of red meat, lots of dairy products and fewer fruits and vegetables and prostate cancer, so one or more of these diet factors may increase the risk. There are also studies on smoking, but there does not seem to be a correlation between smoking and prostate cancer.
Until we know the cause, it is important to know the risk factors for prostate cancer. If you are someone at a greater risk, then it is especially important to see a doctor for regular checkups. Learning about the disease and the risk factors can also help you make an educated decision to seek medical care at the first sign of symptoms and get an early diagnosis. Whether you are at a lower or higher risk for prostate cancer, if you notice symptoms such as difficulty passing urine or frequent urination, you should consult a doctor to either diagnose or rule out prostate cancer.