There are currently not any proven preventable causes linked to prostate cancer. Doctors understand that prostate cancer begins when prostate cells develop a change in their DNA. These abnormal cells will live on when other cells would die.
Accumulating abnormal cells can form a tumour which can metastasize to invade nearby tissue.
In the general population of the UK, there is an average lifetime risk of 1 in 8 men developing prostate cancer. Over 47,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, and over 11,000 men die annually because of the disease. This makes it the second most common cause of cancer-related death for men in the UK.
Prostate Cancer Risk Factors
While there are no known direct causes of prostate cancer, there are some known factors that increase your lifetime risk of developing it, mainly family history and ethnic origin.
Men with a family history of prostate cancer have an increased risk. For example, if a man’s father or a brother has had it, his chances of also getting it are higher (and it would be strongly advised to have his PSA tested regularly from 50 years old and /or if he were showing prostate-related symptoms).
In addition, if you have a family history of genes which increase the chances of developing breast cancer (BRCA1 or BRCA2), or a strong family history of breast cancer, your risk of prostate cancer may be higher.
Age plays a large role as well. Prostate cancer rarely targets young men, affecting only around 1 in 10,000 men under 40 years of age. The ratio increases to 1 in 38 for men between 40 and 59 years of age, and jumps again to 1 in 14 men between 60 and 69.
The majority of such cases are men over 65 years old.
Black men in the UK are twice as likely than white men to develop prostate cancer, with an average lifetime risk of 1 in 4 men developing the disease. Black men are recommended to begin having their PSA tested from 45 years old.
Those who are obese also may have a higher risk of prostate cancer, although studies have been inconclusive. In obese people, prostate cancer tends to be more aggressive and more likely to come back after initial treatment.
How Can I Reduce the Risks of Prostate Cancer?
Many studies have shown that certain behaviors and lifestyles can reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Some of these include:
Exercising: getting exercise most days of the week improves your overall health, helps you maintain your weight, and improves your mood. Beginners can start slowly and work their way up to more exercise each day.
Watching your diet: eating a variety of nutrient- and vitamin-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can improve your overall health, possibly even warding off prostate cancer.
Maintaining a healthy weight: aim to consume a constant and appropriate number of calories each day to keep your weight from fluctuating too widely. Consult your doctor to find your ideal weight and create a healthy weight loss plan.
Taking proper medication: your doctor may want to prescribe you certain medications if you are at a higher risk of prostate cancer. Drugs such as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors including finasteride and dutasteride can help bring down the overall risk.
Quitting smoking can also reduce your chances of developing it.
What is not a Cause of Prostate Cancer?
While some believe sexual activity plays a role in increasing your risk of prostate cancer, this has no basis in science. Your sexual activity or having a vasectomy are not known to increase your odds.
Neither is there a link at present that alcohol consumption leads to a higher risk of prostate cancer.
As a group of consultants we are passionate about prostate cancer sufferers knowing about all of their treatment options.
We know that settling on the right treatment is a big decision for you. If you would like to speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable patient advocates about your diagnosis and the HIFU Focal Therapy treatment option then please do not hesitate to get in touch today.
All enquiries to The Focal Therapy Clinic are confidential, and we are delighted to offer our advice and support with no obligation.