while others with this disease have no known risk factors.
While the causes of prostate cancer are not yet completely
understood, researchers have found several factors that are
consistently associated with an increased risk of developing
Prostate cancer seems to run in some families, suggesting an
inherited or genetic factor. Having a father or brother with
prostate cancer usually doubles a man's risk of developing
this disease. The risk is even higher for men with several
affected relatives, particularly if they were young at the
time of diagnosis.
The chance of having prostate cancer increases rapidly after
age 50. More than 80 per cent of all prostate cancers are
diagnosed in men over the age of 65.
Some studies suggest that men who eat a lot of fat have a greater chance of developing prostate cancer.
Other research indicates that men with a high-fat diet ten to cat fewer fruits and vegetables and more dairy products, and that these factors may be responsible for increasing risk rather than the amount of fat itself.
Lycopenes, which are found in especially high levels in some fruits and vegetables (such as cooked or raw tomatoes and watermelon) also seem to lower prostate cancer risk. These vitamin-like substances are antioxidants that help prevent damage to DNA and may help lower prostate cancer risk. The mineral selenium also seems to lower the risk of prostate cancer. Recent research also suggests that a diet high in calcium and low in fructose (fruit sugar) increases the risk of prostate cancer.
Regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight may help reduce prostate cancer risk.
Men who have had a vasectomy may have an increased
risk for prostate cancer. Some studies have found that
prostate cancer develops one to two times more often in these
men, but other studies found no difference in prostate cancer
risk. Some studies that noticed an increase in risk found that
this risk is highest in men who were younger than 35 when they
has a vasectomy.
Role of Vitamins
The role of vitamin supplements in reducing prostate cancer
risk is not entirely certain, but some studies suggest that
taking 50 mg of vitamin E daily can lower risk by 32 per cent.
Although other studies found vitamin E to be of no benefit,
reasonable doses of this vitamin have no significant side
Some other studies suggest that taking vitamin A supplements
may actually increase prostate cancer risk. As always, vitamin
supplements should be used with the consent of a doctor.
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