Over the years there has been considerable argument about prostate cancer and the subject of preventing prostate cancer in particular remains to some extent controversial. Even though, as is the case with many cancers, men are not themselves the cause of the onset of prostate cancer, there are clearly several risk factors for developing the disease and there is much which can be done, if not to prevent it, then without question to lessen the risk of developing it.
The initial step in prostate cancer prevention is to understand that you are at risk of developing the condition and also to know precisely what the different risk factors are.
There is no question that men with a family history of prostate cancer are at higher risk and that the risk for a man with a close relative having the condition is roughly twice that of a man without any family history. With two close relatives then this risk increases to about five times that of someone with no family history and if you have three close relatives your risk reaches an almost incredible ninety-seven percent.
The difficulties here is that many men are not aware of their family history, often because many fathers, grandfathers or brothers have died as a result of other illnesses without ever being aware of the fact that they had prostate cancer. This occurs because prostate cancer often develops late in life and can be a very slow growing form of cancer. As a consequence there is a very good chance that individuals will develop other conditions alongside their prostate cancer and it is these other conditions which ultimately cause their death.
So, if you do not know your family history, then a good starting point is to try to check things out if at all possible. If this is not possible, then it is probably best to err on the side of caution and assume that the risk could be there rather than assume that you are in the clear.
The next important factor is race. African American men for instance are at higher risk than Hispanic men who, in turn, are at greater risk than Caucasian men. For an African American man the risk is about sixty percent greater than that of a Caucasian man.
Yet another risk factor is diet and men who live in Western countries such as the United States or the United Kingdom are at greater risk because of the high fat levels in many Western diets. Here at last is a risk factor which you can do something about and reducing the fat in your diet and eating things like more vegetables and fresh fruit can lessen your risk quite considerably.
At this point we start to get into difficulty because, after the principle of lowering fat levels in your diet, opinions begin to differ when it comes to looking at other areas of the diet which may be helpful in preventing prostate cancer.
There is little if any doubt that levels of things like vitamins and minerals in your diet can have a dramatic affect on your health generally and will without question have a part to play in prostate health. However, determining precisely which vitamins and minerals play a part is a difficult matter and is a subject all of its own.
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