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Know Your Risk for Prostate Cancer


Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers among men. Approximately 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed in their lifetime. While any man can get prostate cancer, some men are at an increased risk.

Review this quick checklist to help check your risk for prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you have. Common prostate cancer risk factors include:

1. Age
Prostate cancer risk increases as you age. Men over age 65 account from nearly two-thirds of all prostate cancer diagnoses.

2. Race
African American men are at the highest risk of developing prostate cancer. In fact, they are twice as likely to die from prostate cancer compared to white men.

3. Family History
Family history of prostate cancer increases a man’s chance of developing prostate cancer. According to the American Cancer Society:

  • A man with a brother or father with prostate cancer makes him twice as likely to develop prostate cancer;
  • A man whose brother had prostate cancer has a higher risk of the disease compared to if it was his father who had prostate cancer;
  • If a man has several family members diagnosed with the disease, he has a much higher risk of developing it himself.

Age, race and family history are three of the biggest contributors to prostate cancer risks. Other potential risk factors scientists continue to study include:

  • Geography: Surprisingly, where you live can increase your risk of prostate cancer. Men in North America, northwestern Europe, Australia and on Caribbean islands are more likely to develop prostate cancer than other parts of the world.
  • Genes: Men in families with inherited gene changes, such as BRCA1, BRCA2 or Lynch syndrome may be at a slightly increased risk for several types of cancer, including prostate.
  • Diet: No conclusive research has linked diet to prostate cancer, but studies have found that men with diets high in red meat and dairy and low in fruits and vegetables appear to have a slightly higher risk of developing prostate cancer.
  • Obesity: Obesity has not been linked directly to a higher risk of getting prostate chance. However, obese men are more likely to develop aggressive forms of prostate cancer.

If you meet any of the above risk factors, or you are at least 50 years old, you should make an appointment to see a urologist.

Upcoming free prostate screending dates and locations include:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 7 - Higgins General Hospital in Bremen
  • Thursday, Nov. 8 - Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton
  • Tuesday, Nov. 13 - Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica
  • Thursday, Nov. 15 - Tanner Primary Care of Wedowee

To register for a free prostate screening, call 678-846-6387. Registration is required; some criteria apply.

For more information about urology services at Tanner, visit Tanner Urology Care.

West Georgia Urology has locations in Bremen, Carrollton and Villa Rica, Ga., and Wedowee, Ala. For more information, visit www.wgurology.com or call 770.834.6988.