Causes of prostate cancer

It is not known exactly what causes prostate cancer, although a number of things can increase your risk of developing the condition.

These include:

  • Age – risk rises as you get older, most cases are diagnosed in men over 50 years of age.
  • Ethnic group – prostate cancer is more common among men of African-Caribbean and African descent, it is relatively rare among men of Asian and South and Central American descent.
  • Family history – having a close male relative – such as a brother, father or uncle – who has had prostate cancer seems to increase the risk of you developing it. Research also shows that having a close female relative who developed breast cancer may also increase your risk of developing prostate cancer. 
  • Obesity – recent research suggests there may be a link between obesity and prostate cancer.
  • Exercise  men who regularly exercise have also been found to be at lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
  • Diet  research is ongoing into the links between diet and prostate cancer. There is evidence a diet high in calcium is linked to an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.

In addition, some research has shown prostate cancer rates appear lower in men who eat foods containing certain nutrients including lycopene, found in tomatoes and other red fruit, and selenium, found in brazil nuts.

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