Early detection of prostate cancer makes the disease easier to treat. Symptoms include urinary difficulties, erectile problems, and swelling or pain throughout the body. But symptoms don’t always occur in the early stages, so risk factors can help alert men to seek screenings and exams.
Here are eight risk factors for prostate cancer, according to Cancer Treatment Centers of America
, the Mayo Clinic, WebMD and the American Cancer Society.
Age plays a major factor as the risk of prostate cancer increases when men get older. Men aged 65 or older make up about two-thirds of all diagnosed prostate cancer cases, according to WebMd.
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Race also plays a role. African Americans are more likely to acquire the disease and die from it than other races. The risk increases when blacks immigrate to the United States, so environmental factors may also contribute to the increase. High-fat diets and exposure to certain metals or smoking have been suggested for the increase.
When there’s a family history of prostate cancer or breast cancer, a man’s risk for prostate cancer increases. This is especially true when family members got the disease when they were young, according to the American Cancer Society
. Breast cancer may be a risk factor because certain genes are involved with prostate cancer as well, the Mayo Clinic noted
Some studies suggest obesity increases the likelihood of prostate cancer and an increased risk of dying from it.
A regular diet that includes high amounts of fat may contribute to the risk for prostate cancer. The disease appears to occur more often in countries where meat and dairy products, high in saturated fat, are a main source of the diet than in countries where rice and vegetables are dietary staples, WebMD pointed out.
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Smoking may be a risk factor.
Prostatitis, or inflammation of the prostate gland, could increase the risk of the disease.
Certain sexually transmitted diseases and having a vasectomy might be risk factors for prostate cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
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