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Some Causes and Risk Factors of Prostate Cancer
Researchers do not know exactly what causes prostate cancer, therefore, it is not yet possible to prevent most cases of the disease. However, they have linked some factors which may put certain men at risk. Remember, risk factors are NOT absolute.
Age: The risk of developing prostate cancer increases as a man ages.
Diet: The exact role of diet in prostate cancer is not clear. Some studies indicate that prostate health maybe affected by diet and recommend cutting down on dairy foods and red meat. And, some studies have shown that the death rate from prostate cancer increases in obese men.
Ethnicity/Race: Studies suggest that prostate cancer occurs at a significantly higher rate in African-American men than in men of other races. African American men are also more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage, and are twice as likely to die of prostate cancer as Caucasian men.
Studies have also found that Latino men face a 33% increased risk of developing prostate cancer than Caucasian men.
Genetic: Prostate cancer seems to run in families. Having a father or brother with prostate cancer increases a man's risk of developing the disease by 1/3. And, the risk is even higher for men with several affected relatives. While genetic testing for the probability of prostate cancer is not yet available, scientist have identified several inherited genes that seem to increase prostate cancer risk. However, these genes account for only a small fraction of identified cases.
Environmental: Occupational studies are on-going but have yet to yield any conclusive information.
It has been my experience that doctors often disagree on effective treatments so, if you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, I urge you to obtain a second opinion.
Remember, the treatments available today may force you to make the difficult decision between quality of life and quantity of life.