The prostate is a small gland located below the bladder in men and is part of the reproductive system. Some men develop prostate cancer, usually later in life. If cancer develops on your prostate, it is likely to grow slowly. In rare cases, cancer cells can be more aggressive, grow quickly, and spread to other areas of your body. The sooner your doctor finds and treats the tumor, the greater the chance of finding a cure.

Causes of prostate cancer

As with all types of cancer, determining the exact cause of prostate cancer is not easy. In many cases, multiple factors may be involved, including genetics and exposure to environmental toxins, such as certain chemicals or radiation.

Ultimately, mutations in your DNA, or genetic material, lead to the growth of cancerous cells. These mutations cause your prostate cells to grow out of control and abnormally. Abnormal or cancerous cells continue to grow and divide until a tumor develops. If you have aggressive type prostate cancer, the cells may metastasize or leave the original tumor site and spread to other parts of your body.

Risk factors for prostate cancer

Certain risk factors can affect your chances of developing prostate cancer, including your:

your family history
The geographic location

family history

In some cases, the mutations that lead to prostate cancer are inherited. If you have a family history of prostate cancer, you have an increased risk of developing the disease yourself, as you may have inherited damaged DNA. About 5-10% of prostate cancer cases are caused by inherited mutations. This cancer has been linked to inherited mutations in several different genes, including:

RNASEL, formerly known as HPCI
BRCA1 and BRCA2, which have also been linked to breast and ovarian cancer in women
MSH2, MLH1, and other DNA mismatch repair genes


One of the biggest risk factors for prostate cancer is age. This disease rarely affects young men. Only 1 in 10,000 men under the age of 40 will develop this disease. This figure rises to 1 in 38 for men between the ages of 40 and 59. It increases to 1 in 14 among men aged 60 to 69. The majority of cases are diagnosed in men over the age of 65.

Age Incidence of prostate cancer
<40 1 in 10,000 men
40-59 1 in 38 men
60-69 1 in 14 men

Ethnic group

Although the reasons are not fully understood, ethnicity is a risk factor for prostate cancer. Asian men have the lowest incidence of prostate cancer. In contrast, men of African descent are more likely to develop the disease than men of other ethnicities. They are also more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage and have a poor outcome. They are twice as likely to die of prostate cancer as white men.


A diet high in red meat and full-fat dairy products may also be a risk factor for prostate cancer, although research in this area is limited. A study published in 2010 looked at 101 cases of prostate cancer and found a correlation between a diet high in meat and full-fat dairy products and prostate cancer.

A more recent study, titled “Trusted Source from 2017”, examined the diets of 525 men who had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer and linked the consumption of high-fat milk to the progression of prostate cancer. cancer. This study suggests that the consumption of high-fat milk may also play a role in the development of prostate cancer.

Men who eat a diet high in meat and full-fat dairy products also seem to eat fewer fruits and vegetables. Experts don’t know whether high levels of animal fats or low levels of fruits and vegetables contribute more to dietary risk factors. Further research is needed.

Geographic location

Where you live can also affect your risk of developing prostate cancer. Asian men living in Asia are even less likely to develop this cancer. Prostate cancer is more common in North America, the Caribbean, Northwestern Europe and Australia than in Asia, Africa, Central America and South America. Environmental and cultural factors may play a role.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation notes that in the United States, men living north of the 40th parallel have a higher risk of dying from prostate cancer than those living further south. This may be explained by a reduction in the levels of sunlight, and therefore vitamin D, that men in northern climates receive. There is evidence that vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of prostate cancer.

What are the risk factors for aggressive prostate cancer?

Aggressive prostate cancers may be slightly different from slower growing types of disease. Certain risk factors have been linked to the development of more aggressive types of the disease. For example, your risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer may be higher if you:

are obese
have a sedentary lifestyle
consume high levels of calcium

What are the prospects?

Although some cases of prostate cancer are aggressive, most are not. Most men diagnosed with this condition can look forward to a good outlook and many years of life ahead of them. The earlier the cancer is diagnosed, the better your outlook. Early diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer can improve your chances of finding a cure. Even men who are diagnosed at a later stage can benefit greatly from treatment. These benefits include reducing or eliminating symptoms, slowing cancer growth, and extending life by several years.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.