Prostate Cancer Causes & Risk Factors

Prostate Cancer Causes & Risk Factors

Medical oncologist Han Xiao at MSK Basking Ridge

Medical oncologist Han Xiao at MSK Basking Ridge is one of several experts at our suburban locations that work closely with our prostate team in Manhattan.

How do you get prostate cancer? Some people may worry that something they did could cause the disease. But these are the most common reasons for developing prostate cancer.

You have a higher chance of developing prostate cancer if you have any of these risk factors:

Age is the biggest risk factor

The strongest risk factor for prostate cancer is age. It usually develops after age 50. More than 6 out of 10 prostate tumors are found at age 65 or older.

Family history is a big risk factor

Another strong risk factor is family history. Your father, brother, or another close blood relative may have had prostate cancer. This means your risk for the disease is higher, especially if they were diagnosed before age 60.

Between 5 and 10 out of every 100 prostate cancers may be related to inherited genetic factors. Our clinical genetics experts can assess your personal level of risk. They can give you advice about prostate cancer screening and other options.

Ethnicity or race is a risk factor

Prostate cancer is more common among African Americans than Caucasians. African Americans also more likely to have advanced prostate cancer when they’re diagnosed.

Symptoms are a risk factor

If you have symptoms of the disease, you may be more at risk. The main symptoms include an urge to urinate often or painful ejaculation.

It is possible to lower your risk for prostate cancer through your lifestyle and diet choices.

Lifestyle and Prostate Cancer Risk

A healthy diet and lifestyle are associated with overall wellness. Research studies show diet and lifestyle may play a role in prostate cancer and its recurrence (when cancer comes back).

Keys to overall good health include:

  • Achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Eating a balanced, mostly plant-based diet
  • Limiting red meat and avoiding processed meat
  • Exercising regularly

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