Prostate cancer is often thought of as something that only older men have to worry about, but that isn’t necessarily the case. According to recent research, the number of young men diagnosed with prostate cancer has increased 600% in the last 20 years. Of the estimated 241,000 Americans that will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, approximately 10 percent will be early onset. Not only is prostate cancer being found in younger men, it is often more aggressive.
What do Young Men Need to Know About Prostate Cancer?
For men who are under the age of 50, knowing these facts may help save your life from aggressive prostate cancer.
Early Prostate Cancer Shows No Symptoms
If a person is showing typical symptoms of prostate cancer, the disease is most likely in an advanced stage. If prostate cancer develops before you begin to get your regular exam at the age of 45 – 50, it may have already progressed to a later stage.
Family History Makes Prostate Cancer More Likely
If a family member has been diagnosed with prostate cancer in the past, you are approximately three times more at-risk for developing the disease than someone who doesn’t have a family history. For men whose family has been affected by the disease, it is recommended that they begin their prostate cancer screenings early.
Male-Pattern Baldness may be Linked to Higher Prostate Cancer Rates
One study showed that men who showed signs of male pattern baldness by the age of 45 had an increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer. This study showed that there was a two percent increased risk, but other studies have shown as much as 56 percent.
Your Diet Matters
Eating red meat in excess can heighten the risk of prostate cancer and fried, processed food is likely to accelerate the cancer’s progression. While eating these foods every once in a while is fine, be sure that your diet mainly consists of fruits, vegetables and lean meats.
Exercise Matters Too
Exercise has countless benefits to your overall health, but keeping in shape is important in regard to prostate cancer prevention as well. Men who are overweight have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer and men who are considered obese (body mass index above 30) are even more at-risk.
Schedule Your Prostate Exam
If you are unsure about when you should begin getting a prostate exam, consult with your physician. If you have any questions or you’d like to make an appointment, please call Eric K. Diner, MD at Suncoast Medical Center at (727) 824-7146