John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Certain risk factors may predispose a person to prostate cancer. These include:
Age: 60% of cases of prostate cancer arise in men over 65 years of age. The disease is rare in men under 40.
Race or ethnicity: African-American men and Jamaican men of African ancestry are diagnosed with prostate cancer more often than are men of other races and ethnicities. Asian and Hispanic men are less likely to develop prostate cancer than are non-Hispanic white males.
Family history: Prostate cancer can run in families. A man whose father or brother has or had prostate cancer is twice as likely to develop the disease. If several family members have had prostate cancer, and particularly if it was found at a young age in those relatives, the risk may be even higher.
Nationality: Prostate cancer is more common in North America, Europe (especially northwestern countries in Europe), the Caribbean, and Australia. It is less common in Asia, Africa, and South and Central America. Multiple factors, such as diet and lifestyle, may account for this.
Genetic factors: Mutations in a portion of the DNA called the BRCA2 gene can increase a man's risk of getting prostate cancer. This same mutation in female family members may increase their risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer. However, very few cases of prostate cancer can be directly attributed to presently identifiable genetic changes.
Other factors: Diets high in red meats and fatty foods and low in fruits and vegetables appear to be associated with a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. Obesity is also linked to a higher risk of the disease.
Smoking, a history of sexually transmitted diseases, a history of prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate), and a history of vasectomy have NOT been proven to play a role in causing prostate cancer.