Prostate cancer affects about 180,000 American men each year. Often highly treatable, this disease is frequently beaten by those who manage to detect it early and undergo any treatments deemed necessary for saving lives. An estimated 26,000 American men, however, do die from the disease each year. That makes it especially important for men to understand not only the importance of early screening, but also their personal risk factors.
There are a number of factors that can make one man more likely to develop prostate cancer than another. Here are six of them:
- Heredity – Inherited gene mutations are linked to the development of prostate cancer. These mutations are found in about 5 to 10 percent of all prostate cancers. That means family history of the disease is important to note.
- Acquired gene mutations – Gene mutations can occur at different points in a man’s life. These may be caused by environmental concerns, such as chemical exposure.
- Age – Men who are over the age of 50 are more likely to develop prostate cancer than younger men. In fact, about 65 percent of all prostate cancer cases are diagnosed in men over the age of 65.
- Ethnicity – African-American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than their Caucasian counterparts. Asian men are known to have the lowest incident rate.
- Sex – The fact of the matter is all men are at risk for developing prostate cancer. American men, however, are more likely than men from other parts of the world.
- Lifestyle – Lifestyle issues, such as smoking, lack of exercise and a poor diet may all contribute to the development of prostate cancer. Obesity isn’t directly linked to the disease’s development, but it can play a role in more aggressive forms developing.
Men are encouraged to talk openly with their doctors about prostate cancer. This disease is estimated to strike about 1 in 7 American men over the course of their lifetimes.