Prostate Cancer Risk Factors

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Prostate cancer is, unfortunately, something that affects many men.  The CDC reports that in 2011 209,292 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer and 27,970 men died from prostate cancer.  Prostate cancer begins on the prostate in the glands but if it metastasizes, it can spread to other organs and cause significant problems.  While prostate cancer tends to grow slowly, it is important that all men watch for potential prostate cancer symptoms and seek treatment should they notice any symptoms.

Prostate Cancer Risk Factors

  • Age:  While prostate cancer can occur at any age, it is far more likely to occur after the age of 50.  In fact, most cases actually occur in men over the age of 65.
  • Family History:  Men with a family history, particularly a father or brother, that have been diagnosed with prostate cancer are at an increased risk of developing prostate cancer themselves.
  • Ethnicity:  While prostate cancer can affect any man, studies have shown that it does affect certain ethnicities more than others.  The American Cancer Society reports the research regarding the link between ethnicity and prostate cancer, “Prostate cancer occurs more often in African-American men and in Caribbean men of African ancestry than in men of other races. African-American men are also more than twice as likely to die of prostate cancer as white men. Prostate cancer occurs less often in Asian-American and Hispanic/Latino men than in non-Hispanic whites. The reasons for these racial and ethnic differences are not clear.”
  • Problems with Urination:  Any problems related to urination may be a symptom of prostate cancer.  These problems could range from difficult starting or stopping urination, to frequent urination, to painful urination.  Any difficulty with urination is something that needs to be discussed with a physician to rule out prostate cancer and discuss possible treatment options.
  • Erectile Dysfunction:  The onset of erectile dysfunction may a symptom of a larger problem.  Additionally, if painful ejaculation is experienced it may also be a symptom and both issues should be discussed with a physician.
  • Blood:  Blood in urine or semen could be the symptom of a few different things, prostate cancer included.  If blood suddenly shows up in urine or semen it should be immediately discussed with a physician.
  • Hip and Back Pain:  Hip or back pain could be a sign that prostate cancer is affecting your bones.  While hip and back pain could be a result of many other things, if the pain is persistent it is a good idea to discuss it with a physician.

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