34 THE QUEENS COURIER • PROSTATE CANCER • SEPTEMBER 10, 2020 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Exploring the risk factors for prostate cancer
In the United States, one in six men can
expect to be diagnosed with prostate cancer,
while there is a one in seven chance
that a Canadian man will be diagnosed
with prostate cancer at some point during
Th ose elevated incidence rates could be
a byproduct of an aging population, as
age is a signifi cant risk factor for prostate
cancer. According to the Prostate Cancer
Foundation, one in 10,000 men under age
40 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Th at fi gure skyrockets to one in 38 for
men between the ages of 40 to 59, and one
in 15 for men in their 60s.
Th ough age is perhaps the most signifi -
cant risk factor, it’s not the only thing that
increases a man’s risk for prostate cancer.
In fact, there are a host of factors in
addition to age that increase a man’s risk
for prostate cancer, which the Canadian
Cancer Society says will claim the lives of
more than 4,000 Canadian men this year.
One such risk factor is where a man
lives. Men who live in rural China, for
instance, have a relatively low risk of
developing prostate cancer during their
lifetime. Th at risk is only two percent
if a man stays in rural China his entire
life. But that risk increases signifi cantly
if a Chinese man moves to the West,
where a man in the United States has a
17 percent chance of developing prostate
And not only does which country a
man lives in play a role, but also the location
of his home within that country’s
borders can elevate the risk. Men who
live in cities north of 40 degrees latitude
(north of Philadelphia, Pa.; Columbus,
Ohio; and Provo, Utah) have the highest
risk of dying from prostate cancer, and
researchers feel this is because men who
live in such cities get less sunlight during
the winter months and therefore less
Race is another risk factor for prostate
cancer. Asian men have the lowest
risk of developing prostate cancer,
while African-American men are 60 percent
more likely to develop the disease
than Caucasian men. Th e PCF notes that
African-American men are also 2.5 times
more likely to die from the disease, which
highlights the importance that African-
American men must place on screenings.
Family history also plays a role in a
man’s risk for developing prostate cancer.
Men whose fathers or brothers have
had prostate cancer are twice as likely to
develop the disease. Th eir risk increases
even more if their fathers or brothers
were diagnosed with the cancer before
reaching the age of 55 or if they had three
or more family members who were diagnosed
with prostate cancer.
Research into prostate cancer is ongoing
and continues to unearth new information
regarding this potentially deadly
disease. Th e PCF notes, for instance,
that the risk factors for aggressive version
of this type of cancer can diff er from
the risk factors for slow-growing cancers.
As a result, risk factors that were once not
linked to prostate cancer are now being
linked to aggressive forms of the disease.
Smoking, for example, might be a
risk factor for aggressive prostate cancer,
as is a diet void of vegetables. Neither
factor, however, is thought to increase a
man’s risk of slow-growing prostate cancer.
Additional risk factors for aggressive
prostate cancer include height (tall men
might have an elevated risk) and living a
Many men are aware of the importance
of prostate cancer screenings. However,
few might know that certain factors signifi
cantly increase their risk for being
diagnosed with this potentially deadly
disease. More information about prostate
cancer is available at www.pcf.org.