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Assessing Your Risk for Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in American men other than skin cancer. In fact, nearly one in six men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime – a statistic that would cause most men to sit up and take notice. Of course, regular exams are a big part of staying ahead of any disease, including cancer, and regular screenings for prostate cancer are absolutely imperative for a man’s ongoing health. As with any type of cancer, it’s important to know your risks so that you can schedule the appropriate screenings and stay in control of your own health.

The risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age. Men who are 50 years or older are at higher risk for prostate cancer so it’s important for regular screenings as you age.

Others who are at higher risk for prostate cancer include:

* African American men. Research has shown a link between the levels of testosterone in the body and the development of prostate cancer. African American men have higher levels of testosterone than men of other races and therefore are at higher risk for developing the disease.

* Those with a family history of prostate cancer. Family genetics seems to play a rather large role in the development of this type of cancer. Those with prostate cancer in their families should be especially vigilant about their screenings.

* Men who eat a diet high in fat – especially animal fat – or who drink alcohol on a regular basis. It has been shown that a diet that is high in fat can trigger the development of cancer. A change in lifestyle, including diet and exercise, can dramatically decrease the potential of developing cancer of any kind. With risk factors in mind, you can do your best to stay as healthy as possible through a healthy lifestyle and an ongoing schedule of routine screenings by your doctor.