Being older than 50 is the
main risk factor for
prostate cancer. A risk factor is anything that makes
you more likely to get a particular disease. About 65 out of 100 new prostate
cancers are diagnosed in men who are 65 or older.1 About 70 out of 100 prostate cancer deaths occur in men who are older than
Your chances of getting the disease
are higher if other men in your family have had it. Your risk is doubled if
your father or brother had prostate cancer. Your risk also depends on the
age at which your relative was diagnosed. But most
men who get prostate cancer have no family history of the disease.
Patients aren't the only ones affected by prostate cancer. The disease also has a significant impact on those closest to them -- most often spouses. More than half of spouses told researchers in a recent survey that they take an active role in their husbands' experience. This includes boosting their husbands' morale, making sure treatments are taken properly, and assisting in treatment decisions.
Spouses also experience many of the same emotions that their husbands face. More than half of spouses...
Men whose families carry the gene changes that cause breast cancer,
BRCA1 or BRCA2, are thought to be at increased risk for prostate
Race and prostate cancer
African-American men and Jamaican men of African descent have a greater chance
of getting the kind of prostate cancer that grows and spreads. Experts believe
that there are many reasons for the differences in the prostate cancer disease
and death rates among different races and around the world. One reason is a genetic link. Researchers have recently
discovered a gene that occurs more often in African-American men and raises
their risk of prostate cancer. Other genes may be involved too. It is hoped
that these findings will lead to new treatments.4
men develop prostate cancer more often than Asian men living in Japan and
China. But the incidence of prostate cancer in Asian-American men is lower than
that in Caucasian men and much lower than that in African-American men. A
Western high-fat diet may be the cause.
Other factors that may increase your risk
What you eat. Men who live in countries where
people eat more red meat and fats are more likely to be diagnosed with and die
from prostate cancer, according to some studies. Eating more lycopene, found in
tomatoes and beets, may decrease the risk.
Where you live. There are places in the world
where the rates of prostate cancer are low, such as in Japan or China. But when
Japanese or Chinese men move to countries where the rate is higher, such as the
United States, their rates go up.5