- Mens Health
- 9 Months ago
Top 5 Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer
The prostate is a gland in males that is involved in the production of semen. It is located between the bladder and the rectum. Prostate cancer affects the prostate gland.
All men are at risk for developing prostate cancer. Besides being male, there are some risk factors that can increase the odds of developing prostate cancer. The top 5 risk factors among them include:
1. Age: The greatest risk factor for prostate cancer is age. As men get older, the risk factor for developing prostate cancer escalates naturally. Although it is a very unusual disease in men younger than 50 years, the chance of developing the disease dramatically increases at the age of 55.
2. Family history: A family history of prostate cancer increases the risk, especially when the disease is diagnosed in men younger than 50 years of age. Men whose relatives have had prostate cancer are considered to be at high risk. Having a father or brother with the disease more than doubles the risk for prostate cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
3. Diet: Research also suggests high dietary fat; especially saturated fat may contribute to prostate cancer. The disease is much more common in countries where meat and dairy products are dietary staples, compared to countries where the basic diet consists of rice, soybean products, and vegetables. Eating a diet high in the antioxidant lycopene (found in high levels in some fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes and watermelon) may lower your risk of developing prostate cancer according to several studies.
4. Sedentary lifestyle: Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for several types of cancers including prostate cancer. One may be able to reduce the risk for prostate cancer by getting regular exercise and maintaining optimal weight.
5. Smoking: Cigarette smoking may increase the risk of prostate cancer by affecting circulating hormone levels or through exposure to carcinogens. Hence quitting smoking will definitely reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer in smokers.
Some other risk factors include race, high intake of dairy products and calcium, exposure to heavy metal like cadmium, dioxin exposure and hormonal imbalance.
Some of these factors can be controlled to minimize your risk. Other factors, such as age or heredity, are uncontrollable variables, but can motivate you to regularly see a doctor.
• National Cancer Institute - www.cancer.gov