Am I at high risk for prostate cancer? This is a question many middle-aged men ask their urologists. You know it’s out there, and wonder if you are one of the unfortunate men who will get it. If you are a man and you’re getting older, then yes, you are already at risk, but what makes for high risk?
3 Main Established Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer
There are three well-known and identified risk factors for prostate cancer. If you fall into this group, you should be more aware of screenings and ways to mitigate some of the lesser risk factors.
They include the following:
- Getting older is a prime risk factor. Once a man reaches age 65, the risk increases. 60% of diagnosed prostate cancer occurs in men over 65.
- Prostate cancer is the most inheritable cancer. 58% is driven by family association or genetics. If a brother or father had it, you are twice as likely to get it. If 2 or more relatives had the cancer, you are four times more likely, and the likelihood increases if your relative was diagnosed before age 60. In addition, certain gene mutations can up the risk factors.
- Being an African American puts you at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. Black men are about 75% more likely to get prostate cancer than white men, and twice as likely to die.
One other risk factor is smoking. Smoking affects your whole body including the prostate. It raises the risk of more aggressive and recurrent cancers and increases the chances of dying from prostate cancer.
This is a pretty clear indication of your likelihood to develop prostate cancer, but this is NOT the whole story.
Ways to Mitigate Your Risk Factors
The three main risk factors are pretty much out of your control. You can’t stop Father Time, you don’t choose your race, and your family history has already occurred.
So let’s look at ways you can counter those 3 main risk factors:
- Exercise regularly
- Don’t smoke
- Eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid fats and processed foods
- Avoid sugar sweetened drinks
- Control your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol
- Avoid Vitamin E and folic acid supplements
- Try to avoid stress or find ways to manage your stress levels
- Limit calcium to 1200 mg per day
- Avoid dairy products and red and processed meats
- Eat healthy fats like fatty fish and olive oil
This is a tall order, but let’s face it, medical professionals will tell you these are the ways to live a healthy life.
If your race, genetics, and age have already put you at a higher risk for developing prostate cancer, take these steps to lower your risk, and work with a urologist like Dr. Daniel Kaplon in Sarasota, FL to manage your risk and have a personalized screening plan.