Prostate Cancer Causes and Risk Factors

Posted by hifumedicalexpert on October 25th, 2018

Certain illnesses have specific causes that are well known and easy to single out. For example, the common cold and flu are known to be caused by a family of viruses and certain infections are caused by an overgrowth of bacteria. Cancer, however, is not usually linked to one specific cause. Cancer is a complex cellular disorder. Though much research has been done to improve treatment and understand possible risk factors, there is no agreement on a single cause. Like other forms of cancer, research on prostate cancer has brought forth plenty of new information and increased the medical field’s understanding of the disorder but has not identified a single primary cause. Rather than focusing on prostate cancer causes, most medical professionals look at possible risk factors.

Risk Factors

Risk factors describe characteristics that are thought to increase a person’s chance of developing prostate cancer. Though no single risk factor is thought of as a direct cause, certain factors seem to be related to the development of prostate cancer. This article covers some of the primary factors that are thought to increase a man’s chances of developing prostate cancer.

Age

Age is one of the primary risk factors for developing prostate cancer. After the age of 50 men have a much greater chance of developing prostate cancer, with about 60% of cases found in men older than 65. Since age is so closely related to the onset of this type of cancer, screenings are recommended for men over the age of 50.

Genetics

Genetic influences are also thought to play a role in the development of prostate cancer. Inherited genetic mutations are thought to cause between 5% and 10% of prostate cancer cases. This means that men with a blood relative who has or has had prostate cancer are more likely to also develop the disease. Race and ethnicity also may influence a person’s likelihood of developing prostate cancer. Though it is unclear if this is because of a genetic link or a different external factor, studies have found that prostate cancer occurs more frequently in African-American men and in Caribbean men of African ancestry and less frequently in men of Asian and Latino descent.

Diet

Though there is no clear or exact link between diet and prostate cancer, studies have found that men who eat a lot of red meat or high-fat dairy products have a greater chance of developing prostate cancer than those who have diets with higher quantities of fruits and vegetables. Other research has found that men who consume unusually high amounts of calcium may also be at higher risk.

Other Risk Factors

In addition to age, genetics, and dietary factors, other factors have been studied in relation to the development of prostate cancer but most show only a slight relationship. Some possible factors that have not been adequately linked to prostate cancer, but warrant further study include, chemical exposure, inflamed prostate, sexually transmitted infections, and vasectomy.

Prevention

Though prostate cancer causes are complex and hard to define, there are things that men can do to reduce their chances of developing this disease and increase their chances of survival if it does develop. Along with getting the necessary screening to detect early cancer growth, men can reduce their chances of developing prostate by staying physically healthy and eating a well-balanced, low-fat diet. Some studies have also suggested that certain medications such as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors and aspirin could reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. It is important to talk to a doctor about the full risks and benefits of using these kinds of medications before deciding on a course of preventative care.

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