Health Tip: Factors That May Contribute to Prostate Cancer

-- Only about 5 percent to 10 percent of prostate cancer cases can be attributed to cell changes that men inherit from their parents, the American Cancer Society says.

The remaining cases can be traced to cell changes that occur during a man's lifetime.

What increases a man's chances of undergoing those cell changes and developing prostate cancer? The ACS offers this list of risk factors:

  • The primary risk factor is being older than age 65; about two of every three cases of prostate cancer occur in men of this age group.
  • Being of African-American descent, although the reasons for this risk factor aren't understood.
  • Also for reasons that aren't clear, living in North America or northwestern Europe.
  • Having a family history of prostate cancer.
  • Eating a diet rich in red meat and high-fat dairy products. Men who eat this way also tend to eat fewer fruits and vegetables.
  • Being obese.
  • Not getting enough exercise.
  • Being a smoker.

Posted: June 2011


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