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Prostate Cancer - Causes

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Prostate Cancer

  • Age - The most common risk factor for prostate cancer is age. The incidence of prostate cancer increases greatly after age 50. Nearly 2 out of 3 prostate cancers are found in men over the age of 65.

  • Race - Prostate cancer is most prevalent in African-American men. Additionally, advanced stage prostate cancer diagnosis is more likely for African-American men and because of this they are more than twice as likely to die of prostate cancer as white men. Non-Hispanic whites are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than Asian-American and Hispanic/Latino men. The reasons are unclear for these racial and ethnic differences.

  • Genetic - Prostate cancer appears to run in some families, which suggests there may be an inherited or genetic factor. A man whose father or brother has prostate cancer is more than twice as likely to develop the disease. The risk is much higher for men with several relatives affected by prostate cancer, especially if their relatives were young at the time the cancer was found.

  • Diet - While the role of diet in prostate cancer has been studied, the exact correlation is unclear. A diet rich in red meat or high-fat dairy products and low in fruit and vegetables appears to slightly increase the chance of prostate cancer in men. Doctors are not sure which of these factors is responsible for the elevated risk.

    A number of studies have shown that men who consume a lot of calcium (through food or supplements) may have a higher risk of developing advanced prostate cancer. The majority of studies have not found such a link with the calcium levels found in the average diet, and it's important to remember that calcium is known to have other important health benefits.