Are you at risk of prostate cancer?

Updated on January 11, 2020

Prostate Cancer Overview: Causes & Symptoms 

Prostate cancer occurs when cells in the prostate gland start to grow abnormally. When cancer starts in the gland, it tends to develop slowly. For most men, prostate cancer happens later in life. The tumor very rarely grows fast or spreads to various body parts. However, if the cancer is aggressive and the tumor does progress rapidly, chances of recovery are high when it is detected early. As many as 1 out of every 7 Americans are diagnosed with this condition, and about 1 in 39 die of it. 


Prostate cancer causes can be many and knowledge of these causes, and risk factors can help you take adequate precautions.

➢ Family History: Sometimes cell mutations responsible for prostate cancer are genetic. So, if members in your family have had prostate cancer, risks of you developing it are high.

➢ Age: This can be a big risk factor as the condition is rarely found in young men. Only 1 in 10,000 males below 40 are likely to get it, but this number escalates to 1 in 14 in men between the age of 60-69 years.

➢ Race: Both ethnicity and race can be considered risk factors for this condition. For instance, Latino males and Asian-American men in the US are least likely to get it while African-Americans are twice as likely to have it.

➢ Diet: This factor can play a crucial role in developing prostate cancer. Diets rich in high-fat dairy foods and red meats can be responsible for triggering this condition.

➢ Obesity: While being overweight does not mean you will get prostate cancer, it definitely increases the odds.

➢ Location: Incidentally, prostate cancer risks are also influenced by location. Asians residing in the US are not as likely to get it as males from other races, but Asians residing in Asia are even less likely to get this cancer.

➢ Hormones: Males having exceptionally high testosterone levels are at greater risk of getting this cancer.

➢ Prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia can heighten the risks of prostate cancers. In this condition, the gland’s cells appear abnormal when microscopically examined.

➢ Genome Changes: Some genes like BRCA1 or BRCA2 are known to increase the risks of prostate cancers. Lynch syndrome or HNPCC is a gene inherited at birth that can increase the odds of prostate cancer. 


It is hard to recognize the signs of Prostate cancer in the initial stages. However, if you notice any of the following symptoms, you should get in touch with a professional:

➢ Trouble urinating

➢ Blood in semen

➢ Bone pain,

➢ Pain in the pelvic area

➢ Erectile dysfunction

➢ Weak urine flow 

Risk Factors for Aggressive Prostate Cancer 

➢ Those who are heavy smokers are likely to get an aggressive type of prostate cancer.

➢ Highly obese people are at greater risk of aggressive prostate cancers.

Preventive Measures: Diet & Lifestyle Changes 

It is possible to lower the risks of developing prostate cancer by following these tips: 

  • You need to eat meals rich in vegetables and fruits and avoid high-fat foods, red meat or dairy foods. Legumes like peas and beans are known to lower the risks of cancers; some reports even suggest that lycopene in tomatoes may be very useful in preventing prostate cancer.
  • You need to choose healthy foods instead of supplements; to get the right amount of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, it is important to eat the right kinds of foods. Before taking supplements, it is advisable to consult your doctor.
  • Changing eating behavior may not be able to slow down or prevent prostate cancer; to make it work, these changes have to be adopted much earlier in life.
  • You should also make exercises a part of your daily routine as this will improve your overall health, mood and help you maintain optimal body weight. Studies show that people who do not work out have high PSA levels.
  • Those who are at risk of getting this cancer can consult doctors to get medicines or other types of treatments that can lower the risks. For instance, drugs like finasteride and dutasteride can reduce the risks of this cancer as they control prostate enlargement.

When To Seek Medical Assistance 

When you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms you can seek medical assistance. The American Cancer Society suggests that males need not be screened until they have been so instructed by their doctors. The doctors will advise you depending on consideration of factors such as whether you fall in the African-American racial group, whether you have a stronger chance of getting it because of family history, and your age. Besides, when you have pain ejaculating or urinating, or you spot blood in the semen, you must get in touch with your doctor at once.


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