Prostate Cancer is one of the most prevalent types of cancer in men. It tends to strike older men (over the age of 50). Unlike many other cancers, Prostate Cancer may often go undetected because it is slow growing and its symptoms may never appear. In most cases, men with Prostate Cancer end up dying due to causes unrelated to the illness. In Chinese, German, Israeli, Jamaican, Swedish and Ugandan men, autopsy studies of men who died of varying causes (and without a Prostate Cancer diagnosis) showed that 30% of men in their fifties had the disease while 80% of men in their seventies had the disease. For this reason, it is very important for men to know what the risk factors are for developing Prostate Cancer so an earlier diagnosis can be made and treatment can begin. The following is a list of risk factors for developing Prostate Cancer.
Age: Age is considered the primary risk factor for Prostate Cancer. Basically, the older you are, the more likely you are for developing Prostate Cancer. More than 65% of all diagnosed Prostate Cancers are in men older than 65 years of age.
Race: African American men are over 60% more likely to develop prostate cancer compared with their Caucasian counterparts.
Family History: If a man’s father, brother or son had Prostate Cancer, he is twice as likely to develop the disease himself. If more than two relatives were diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, then the likelihood is four times greater.
Diet: Eating a lot of red meat and high fat dairy products seems to create a slightly greater risk of developing prostate cancer. Low fat milk and other dairy products that have vitamin A palmitate added to it have been studied as a link to Prostate Cancer. This type of vitamin A is synthetic and forms an unabsorbable complex when it reacts with zinc and protein.
Prostate Inflammation: Although still being researched, many Prostate Cancers contain inflamed tissue much like that seen in men with prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland).
Exercise: While exercise cannot reduce a man’s risk of developing Prostate Cancer, high levels of activity may lower the risk of developing advanced Prostate Cancer.
Obesity: The studies on the effects of obesity on Prostate Cancer are not concrete, however, obese men seem to be at a greater risk of developing more advanced Prostate Cancers as opposed to low grade forms of the disease.
Genetics: Several inherited genes seem to raise the risk of developing Prostate Cancer, but researchers are still trying to confirm the results and see if there is a way to test for the genes. Like in breast and ovarian cancers, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes may play a part.
Nationality: Where a man lives plays a part in whether or not he is at a greater risk for developing Prostate Cancer. For example, Prostate Cancer is more commonly found in North America, Australia, northwestern Europe and the Caribbean Islands, but is less common in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America.
Infection: Some researchers believe that sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia or gonorrhea may attribute to a higher risk of developing Prostate Cancer.
Prostate Cancer does not have to be a death sentence for a man. Knowing what the risk factors are and getting annual check ups can minimize the potential of Prostate Cancer going undetected and possibly spreading through the body. Any man who has one or more of these risk factors should make an effort to try and reverse them (as in the case of proper diet and exercise) or make sure his doctor knows so that Prostate Cancer does not go undiagnosed.