Prostate cancer usually affects older men, developing in the tissue of the prostate gland in the reproductive system. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death for men in the United States. According to the National Cancer Institute, no one knows its exact causes.
Age is the main risk factor. The chance of developing prostate cancer increases after age 65. Your risk is higher if the men in your family have a history of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is more common among black men than white or Hispanic/Latino men. It is less common among Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native men. Men with cells called high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) may be at increased risk of prostate cancer. These prostate cells look abnormal under a microscope.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms for prostate cancer include urinary problems, difficulty having an erection, blood in the urine or semen, or frequent pain in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs. Contact your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.
Some risk factors cannot be controlled, but a healthy lifestyle can help lower your risk of prostate cancer. These tips can also aid in avoiding other health issues:
- Eat moderate portions and limit excessive caloric intake
- Eat a low-fat diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains
- Avoid a diet high in saturated fats and limit salt and sweets by replacing them with healthy foods
- Remember to drink alcohol in moderation
- Try soy products, legumes, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- Drink green tea – it contains antioxidants
- Check with your doctor about your vitamin D intake
- Exercise regularly
Because prostate cancer is not 100% preventable, it is important to have annual prostate screenings. Treatment is more successful with early detection.