Prostate cancer affects the prostate gland, the gland that produces some of the fluid in semen and plays a role in urine control in men.
The prostate gland is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum.
In 2017, the American Cancer Society predicts that there will be around 161,360 new diagnoses of prostate cancer, and that around 26,730 fatalities will occur because of it.
Regular testing is crucial as the cancer needs to be diagnosed before metastasis.
Here are some risk factors
Age: The risk of prostate cancer increases with age, especially after age 50. More than 80% of prostate cancers are diagnosed in men who are 65 or older.
Race/ethnicity: Black men have a higher risk of prostate cancer than white men. They are also more likely to develop prostate cancer at an earlier age and to have aggressive tumors that grow quickly. The exact reasons for these differences are not known and may involve socioeconomic or other factors. Hispanic men have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer and dying from the disease than non-Hispanic white men.
Family history: Prostate cancer that runs in a family, called familial prostate cancer, occurs about 20% of the time. This type of prostate cancer develops because of a combination of shared genes and shared environmental or lifestyle factors.
Diet: No study has proven that diet and nutrition can directly cause or prevent the development of prostate cancer. However, many studies that look at links between certain eating behaviors and cancer suggest there may be a connection.
Geography: Prostate cancer is most common in North America, northwestern Europe, Australia, and on Caribbean islands. It is less common in Asia, Africa, Central America, and South America.
Agent Orange exposure: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs lists prostate cancer as a disease associated with exposure to Agent Orange, a chemical used during the Vietnam War.
Other genetic changes: Other genes that may carry an increased risk of developing prostate cancer include HPC1, HPC2, HPCX, and CAPB. However, none of them has been shown to cause prostate cancer or be specific to this disease. Research to identify genes associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer is ongoing, and researchers are constantly learning more about how specific genetic changes can influence the development of prostate cancer. Currently there are no genetic tests available to determine a man’s chance of developing prostate cancer.