Prostate Cancer – Understanding The Risk Factors

There are different risk factors responsible for different types of cancers. However, this does not indicate that one will definitely develop the disease. However, it is still very important to understand the risk factors to be able to stay cautious and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Listed below are some of the major risk factors associated with prostate cancer:

Factors of Prostate Cancer

Age

This is one of the major risk factors for it. This type of cancer is very rare in men younger than 40. However, the chances increase rapidly after they attain the age of 50. Studies have revealed that around 6 in 10 cases of prostate cancer are found in men above the age of 65.

Geography

Cancer of the prostate is most common in Australia, North America, Caribbean islands, and Northwestern Europe. On the other hand, it is less common in Central America, South America, Asia, and Africa. Although the reasons for the same are unclear, intensive screening in certain developed nations accounts for this difference. However, other factors, including lifestyle, diet, stress levels, etc. are also important. Asian Americans produce reduced the risk of prostate cancer as compared to white Americans. However, the risk is higher as compared to men from similar backgrounds residing in Asia.

Race/Ethnicity

African-American men and those of African ancestry residing in Caribbean men are at more risk of developing prostate cancer as compared to men of other races. Studies have also revealed that African-American men are more than twice as likely to die of prostate cancer as their white counterparts. Hispanic/Latino men and Asian-American men are less likely to develop it than the non-Hispanic whites.

Genetic Changes

The risk of prostate cancer increases with inherited gene changes. However, they account for only a very small fraction of cases in general. For instance, inherited mutations of genes (BRCA1 or BRCA2) increase risk of it in some men. Lynch syndrome (HNPCC or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer) in men also increases the risk of varied types of cancer including it. This syndrome is a condition resulting from changes in the inherited gene. Additionally, other inherited gene changes have also shown to increase the risk among men.

Family History

Prostate cancer is seen running in some families. This indicates the presence of an inherited or genetic factor. If a father or brother has prostate cancer, it almost doubles one’s risk of developing this disease. Also, the risk is higher among men many affected relatives, especially if relatives are young at the time of cancer detection.

Other Risk Factors

Here is a list of some of the other factors of which are found to have a less clear impact on risk prostate cancer:

Obesity

Being overweight invites several health risks. Certain studies have found that obese men have a lower risk of getting a low-grade form of cancer and a higher risk of developing the more aggressive type of prostate cancer. Obese men have also been found at greater risk for developing more advanced prostate cancer and dying from it too.

Diet

Although the role of diet in prostate cancer is unknown at present. A lot of red meat in the diet or high-fat dairy products can have a slightly higher chance of developing prostate cancer. Studies revealed that these men also have a tendency to eat fewer vegetables and fruits.

Studies have also indicated that men consuming high levels of calcium through natural foods or supplements may be at higher risk of developing this cancer.

Smoking

Some research has linked smoking to a small risk of men dying from prostate cancer.

Prostate Inflammation

Research has indicated that inflammation of the prostate gland, prostatitis may contribute to one’s increased vulnerability to prostate cancer risk. However, other studies failed to find such a link.

Vasectomy

According to some studies, it is revealed that men who have had a vasectomy in the past (a minor surgery to cause infertility in men) are at slightly increased risk for developing it. However, some studies by health experts and the top prostate cancer surgeons have ruled this cause away. Detailed and most advanced research on this topic is still going on.

Chemical Exposures

Some evidence has found related to firefighters who are exposed to chemicals responsible for increasing the risk of prostate cancer. Studies have indicated a link between exposure to a chemical known as ‘Agent Orange’, used widely during the Vietnam War and its risk.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Many studies and research have been conducted to know if sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea etc. may increase risk. This is because these infections can result in inflammation of the prostate. Proper confirmations have yet to be received in this respect.

News Reporter

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