If you are a man, the chances are very likely that you could develop prostate cancer in your lifetime. The American Cancer Society estimate one in nine men will develop the disease in their lifetime.
However, there are a number of factors that can increase a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. Understanding the risk factors can help you know what to look out for and practice preventive medicine for a healthy life. Some of the major factors associated with prostate cancer are:
Your chances of being diagnosed with prostate cancer increase with age. With more than 80% of prostate cancers diagnosed in men aged 65 or older, age is the primary factor for developing the disease. Some might even say that prostate cancer is an inevitability of aging for all men, but it is a very treatable disease.
While men of any race or ethnicity are at risk of developing prostate cancer, statistics show that African American (Black) males have a higher risk than Caucasian (white) males. African Americans also tend to developed prostate cancer at an earlier age than other men, and their tumors tend to be more aggressive. Hispanic males have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer than do non-Hispanic white men. While there is no definitive reason why certain races are more at risk, researchers and medical professionals are looking at genetic, socioeconomic, and other factors.
Where You Live
Prostate cancer is most prevalent in North America and Northern Europe. There is evidence that this has more to do with living an urban, sedentary lifestyle than the geographic factors associated with these locations.
About 20% of prostate cancer cases are inherited through genes. “Familial” prostate cancer is passed on through mutated genes from one generation to the next. Your risk increases if three or more first-degree relatives have had prostate cancer; if you can trace it back three generations on the same side of the family; or if two or more very close relatives (e.g., father, son, brother, uncle) have had the disease. In fact, the risk increases to 2 to 3 times higher than average if a first-degree (immediate) family member has been diagnosed.
Diet and Exercise
Eating the wrong foods has been known to increase your risk of getting prostate cancer. Foods to avoid include caffeine (which acts as a diuretic), sodium, alcohol (which stimulates urine production), and red meat (which, if eaten daily, is believed to triple the risk of prostate enlargement).
And, while exercise is not necessarily known to prevent prostate cancer, studies show that a sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise is a factor in chronic diseases such as cancer.
In other words, you put yourself at higher risk of developing prostate cancer if you forego a healthy, active lifestyle and diet.
Agent Orange and Other Factors
Many who served in the Vietnam War were exposed to Agent Orange, a defoliant used to clear jungles. Over time, many of those veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange developed health issues, including prostate cancer. Exposure to other substances such as asbestos and agricultural chemicals also has been found to put men at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.
What can I do?
When men hit 50, their risk of developing prostate cancer increases. However, if you fit into any of the categories discussed above, your risk is elevated. If you are experiencing any symptoms of an enlarged prostate, to include frequent, unsteady, or painful urination, seek a diagnosis immediately. If you should be diagnosed with prostate cancer, consider the highly effective, non-invasive treatment that is revolutionizing prostate cancer treatment for thousands of patients.
CyberKnife is an innovative radiation technology called Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT). It’s used to destroy tumors and lesions throughout the body with pinpoint accuracy, leaving surrounding healthy tissue unaffected. There is no cutting, incision, blood, anesthesia, pain, and little or no recovery time. CyberKnife – “The Beam of Life” – is fast becoming the treatment of choice for prostate cancer, and is covered by the vast majority of medical insurance companies, plus Medicare and Medicaid.
Thehas successfully treated hundreds of prostate cancer patients with excellent results. With CyberKnife SBRT, prostate cancer treatment typically requires five treatments as compared to 42 treatments of standard radiation therapy. Study results involving hundreds of patients validates its effectiveness for prostate cancer and found that 98% of patients followed for 10 years remained cancer-free throughout that time.
Thewas also shown to be minimally harmful, producing low levels of toxicity, if any at all.
At the CyberKnife Center of Miami, we are compassionate and care about you and your family. We walk you through your journey, side-by-side, every step of the way and we are always available to answer any questions or concerns you might have. Our goal is to helplive longer, healthier lives and maintain quality of life while undergoing treatment and beyond.