Age is the biggest risk factor when it comes to men and prostate cancer. The chances of a prostate cancer diagnosis increases as you get older, particularly over the age of 50. That is why regular health checks can help detect any changes early so you can receive timely treatment.
Family history, ancestry and race can also play a role in your risk of prostate cancer. One study showed that men of African ancestry have more genetic and biological factors that influence their risk of developing prostate cancer. While the inherited genetic factors on their own have a small effect on the risk of prostate cancer, when combined with the other 183 genetic factors, it substantially increases risk when compared to Asian and European men3.
It is recommended for men with African ancestry to start screening for prostate cancer from the age 40, especially if they have had previous family members diagnosed with prostate cancer. If there is more than one male relative with prostate cancer, the risk could be five times higher4.
It can sometimes be difficult to talk about health issues openly, which is why Movember provides a timely reminder to check in with your family about their health, and any family health risks or history you should be aware of.
While age and family history/genetics are not within your control, other factors that can impact your risk of prostate cancer, can be. More research is needed into the connection between lifestyle, diet and prostate cancer, but having a balanced diet and active lifestyle may help to reduce your risk of developing prostate cancer as well as providing other mental and physical health benefits5.