Risk factors

Risk factors

Risk factors

Although the exact cause of prostate cancer is unknown, there are certain aspects of life that may increase your chance of having prostate cancer or developing a more aggressive form of the disease. These include:

Age

Prostate cancer occurs more often in older men. After the age of 50, your risk is rapidly increased. Below the age of 45, prostate cancer is rare.

Family history

Genetic predisposition may increase prostate cancer risk. Men who have a first-degree relative (father or brother) with prostate cancer have twice the risk of developing the disease, and those with two first-degree relatives affected have a fivefold greater risk compared to men with no family history. 

Diet

Having a healthy lifestyle can reduce your chance of developing many diseases. It’s been shown that a high fat intake (too much fast, snack or fried food, and baked goods), a high red meat intake (more than 300 grams of meat 4 times a week or more), and a diet low in vegetables is linked to a greater chance of having prostate cancer.

Ethnicity 

Prostate Cancer is more prevalent among men of black and minority ethnic (BME) background than their Caucasian counterparts, with men of African-Caribbean background experiencing higher levels of incidence and mortality than any other ethnic group. 

Alcohol intake

Having more than 2 standard sized alcoholic drinks per day is another risk factor for prostate cancer. A standard drink is 340ml of beer, 120ml of wine, 25ml of spirits or 50ml of sherry.

Sexual health 

Many patients will visit their doctor because of erectile dysfunction. These may be the result of psychological implications so both causes must be investigated. Erectile dysfunction is a more concerning than urinary symptoms. 

Dry orgasms are also an issue even with a normal erection. The suggestion is to see a neurologist that specialize in these issues and have treatment. 

Other lifestyle factors

Obesity, lack of physical exercise and smoking increase chances of prostate cancer.

  1. Men’s Foundation. Prostate cancer. https://mensfoundation.co.za/mens-health/prostate-cancer/. Accessed on 22 October 2021.
  2. Cansa.org. Fact Sheet on Prostate Cancer. https://cansa.org.za/files/2021/04/Fact-Sheet-on-Prostate-Cancer-NCR-2017-web-March-2021.pdf. Accessed on 22 October 2021.
  3. Mayo Clinic. Prostate Cancer. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prostate-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20353087. Accessed on 22 October 2021.

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