Understanding your risk factors can help you make healthy life decisions to prevent prostate cancer. Learn more about Cancer Prevention in the Prostate Health section of our site.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle including a balanced diet and regular exercise can help reduce your risk of prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Canada - Risk Factors
Although prostate cancer has been discovered in men as early as in their 40’s, it is most commonly diagnosed in men over the age of 65. More than 75% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer each year are over the age of 65.
Research suggests that prostate cancer may be more common in certain ethnic populations. For instance, studies have shown that prostate cancer is more common in men of African ancestry as compared to Caucasian men, while Asian and Aboriginal populations seem to have the lowest rates of prostate cancer.
Research has suggested that diet may act as a risk factor for the development of prostate cancer. For example, research has shown that among Asian immigrant populations we see a three-fold increase in the number of these men diagnosed with prostate cancer over a single generation. This increase in the frequency of prostate cancer was primarily attributed to changes in diet upon immigration to North America.
In addition, a number of other studies investigating an association between diet and the risk to develop prostate cancer have shown that a high fat diet may increase a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. You can learn how to reduce your risk in the Prostate Cancer Prevention section of this site.
Research studies have consistently shown an increased risk of developing prostate cancer in son’s and brother’s of men diagnosed with prostate cancer. In fact, for men with one close relative (for example, a brother or father) with prostate cancer, their risk to develop this condition is about twice that of a man with no family history of prostate cancer. This risk may be further increased, if more than one family member has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, or if prostate cancer was diagnosed at a young age (for example, less than 60 years of age).
Hereditary prostate cancer refers to prostate cancer that appears to be "running" in a family. In these families, it is suspected that alterations in specific genes (instructions found in every cell of our body that tell our body how to grow and develop) passed from generation to generation may play an important role in the development of prostate cancer.
We may suspect that a family is at risk for hereditary prostate cancer if:
If you think you fit these criteria, you may want to read about genetic counseling to determine your risk.