7 big factors may increase prostate cancer risk

7 big factors may increase prostate cancer risk

Prostate cancer is most common in older men.

In the U.S., about 20% of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die of it.

Recent research has shown that avoiding cancer risk factors may help prevent certain cancers.

Common risk factors for cancer include smoking, obesity, and not getting enough exercise.

Researchers from the National Cancer Institute suggest that the following 7 things may increase the risk of prostate cancer:

Vitamin E intake

The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) has found that vitamin E taken alone could increase the risk of prostate cancer.

The risk could keep increasing even after the men stopped taking vitamin E.

Folic acid

A 10-year study showed that the risk of prostate cancer was higher in men who took 1 milligram (mg) supplements of folic acid.

But the risk of prostate cancer was lower in men who get enough folate from their diets.

Folate is a kind of vitamin B that can be found in green vegetables, beans, and orange juice.

Folic acid is a man-made form of folate that is found in vitamin supplements and fortified foods, such as whole-grain bread and cereals.

Dairy and calcium

Research has shown that a diet high in dairy foods and calcium may lead to a small increase in prostate cancer risk.

Hormone problems

The prostate needs male hormones to work the way it should.

The main male sex hormone is testosterone, which helps the body develop and maintain male sex characteristics.

In the body, testosterone is changed into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by an enzyme. DHT is important for normal prostate growth, but sometimes it can cause the prostate to get bigger and may contribute to prostate cancer.

Family history of prostate cancer

A man whose father, brother, or son has had prostate cancer may have a higher risk of prostate cancer than the general population.

Have an older age

Prostate cancer is quite rare in men younger than 50 years of age. The chance of developing prostate cancer increases as men get older.


Research has shown that prostate cancer occurs more often in African-American men than in white men.

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