Some diseases, such as cancer, cannot always be avoided. It is not always clear why one person develops a life-threatening illness while others remain healthy, but there are some common symptoms and risk factors for certain diseases to add in prevention and to help in early detection and treatment. Dr. Donald Sonn is a board certified Urologist who works with patients to detect signs of prostate cancer and use preventive measures when at all possible.
Risk factors for prostate cancer are conditions that may affect your odds of contracting the disease. While it is beneficial to be aware of potential risk factors for diseases such as cancer, some factors cannot be changed. For instance, smoking, drinking, obesity, and living an unhealthy lifestyle are all factors that may lead to a greater chance of contracting life-threatening diseases and a person can take action to greatly reduce these risks. On the other hand factors that cannot be altered such as family history, gender, age, and ethnicity may put some at greater risk than others to develop particular diseases. Being aware of these risks may, however, help in early detection and receiving life-saving treatment as soon as possible.
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While we currently do not completely understand the causes of prostate cancer researchers have narrowed down several factors that may affect the chances of a man contracting the disease.
Three of the main risk factors include:
Age- Those under the age of 40 rarely contract prostate cancer. Once a man has reached 50 years of age his odds of developing prostate cancer increase significantly with about 6 out of 10 cases of prostate cancer occurring in men over 65 years of age.
Race and Ethnicity- It has been discovered that men of African-American and Caribbean men of African ancestry are more likely to develop prostate cancer that other races. The danger is even more significant for African American men in particular in that they are two times more likely to die of prostate cancer than Caucasian men. Asian-Americans and Hispanic men are less likely to develop prostate cancer than Caucasian men. Although these findings have been widely accepted, it is not certain why these differences in race affect risk factors at such a high degree.
Family History- Having an immediate family member who has developed prostate cancer in his lifetime doubles a man’s chances of also developing the disease. Having a brother who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer gives a higher risk of one developing the disease than someone whose father was diagnosed.
Physicians such as Dr. Donald Sonn have devoted their careers to helping those affected by prostate cancer. Treatment and early detection can lead to successfully curing prostate cancer which makes awareness of risk factors and preventive measures extremely important in the fight against prostate cancer.