There could be various risk factors for prostate cancer that can increase a man’s chances of getting one. However, having a risk factor doesn’t mean that one might suffer from cancer. Knowing the risk factors help one to take adequate steps to reduce the risk of cancer. While age, genetics, family history are considered to be a greater risk factor in prostate cancer, here are some lesser-known risk factors:
The exact role of diet in prostate cancer is not clear, but it is seen that men who eat a lot of red meat or high-fat dairy products appear to have a slightly higher chance of getting prostate cancer. Some studies have suggested that men who consume a lot of calcium (through food or supplements) might also have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. Dairy foods (which are often high in calcium) can also increase the risk of this cancer. However, when one has calcium-rich foods it doesn’t affect the prostate that much.
Being overweight or obese in general does not seem to increase the overall risk of getting prostate cancer. But some studies point out that obese men have a lower risk of getting a low-grade (less dangerous) form of the disease, but a higher risk of getting more aggressive prostate cancer. The reasons for this are not clear. Other independent studies state that obese men may be at greater risk for having an advanced prostate cancer and are at an increased risk of dying from prostate cancer.
Most studies have not found a link between smoking and getting prostate cancer. Some research has linked smoking to a possible small increased the risk of dying from prostate cancer, but this finding needs to be confirmed by other studies.
4. Environmental exposures
There is some evidence that firefighters can be exposed to chemicals that may increase their risk of prostate cancer. Other studies also confirm that certain chemical exposure can have an effect on a man’s prostate health.
5. Inflammation of the prostate
Some studies have suggested that prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland) may be linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer, but other studies have not found such a link. Inflammation is often seen in samples of prostate tissue that also contain cancer. The link between the two is not yet clear and is an active area of research.
6. Sexually transmitted infections
Researchers have tried to explore the fact if sexually transmitted infections (like gonorrhoea or chlamydia) might increase the risk of prostate cancer because they can lead to inflammation of the prostate. But there aren’t any conclusive data to establish this fact. However, these infections stand to be a rare trigger for cancer.
Some studies have suggested that men who have had a vasectomy (minor surgery to make men infertile) have a slightly increased risk for prostate cancer. However, research on this possible link is still underway.