Prostate Cancer Risk Factors

Prostate Cancer Risk Factors


A risk factor is anything that may increase a person’s chance of developing a disease. It may be an activity, such as smoking, diet, family history, or many other things. Different diseases, including cancers, have different risk factors. In general, all men are at risk for prostate cancer. However, there are specific risk factors that increase the likelihood that certain men will develop the disease, including the following:
Age is a risk factor for prostate cancer, especially men age 50 and older. More than 80 percent of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65. Race: Prostate cancer is nearly twice as common among African-American men than it is among Caucasian-American men. Japanese and Chinese men native to their country have the lowest rates of prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer Risk Factors

Diet: Data suggests that the diet consumed in Western industrialized countries may be one of the most important contributory factors for developing prostate cancer. The following information regarding diet and its effect on the risk for prostate cancer include men who eat a high-fat diet may have a greater chance of developing prostate cancer. Dietary fiber intake may decrease the progression of prostate cancer. Soy protein lowers fat intake, and the isoflavones in soy have been found to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer. Vitamin E and selenium Vitamin E, an antioxidant, combined with selenium, has been shown to inhibit tumor growth in laboratory animals. Carotenoids Carotenoids containing lycopenes have been shown to inhibit the growth of human prostate cancer cells in tissue cultures. The primary source of lycopenes is processed tomatoes in tomato juice and tomato paste. Obesity Obesity not only contributes to diabetes and high cholesterol, but has also been associated with some common cancers including prostate cancer.

Vasectomy, BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia), or STD (sexually transmitted disease) Researchers have looked at whether men who have had a vasectomy, BPH, or those who have had exposure to STD’s are at increased risk for prostate cancer. Some studies suggest a link, while others don’t. Family history of prostate cancer. A father or brother with prostate cancer doubles a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. The risk is even higher for men with several affected relatives. Geneticists divide families into three groups, depending upon the number of men with prostate cancer and their ages of onset, including the following: Sporadic – a family with prostate cancer present in one man, at a typical age of onset. Familial – a family with prostate cancer present in more than one person, but with no definitive pattern of inheritance and usually an older age of onset. Hereditary – Five to 10 percent of prostate cancer cases are considered hereditary. Genetic Approximately 9 percent of all prostate cancers and 45 percent of cases in men younger than age 55 can be attributed to a cancer susceptibility gene that is inherited as a dominant trait (from parent to child).

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