Most commonly, prostate cancer causes no symptoms other than an abnormal blood test that measures the presence of prostate specific antigen (PSA). Other, but more rare, presenting symptoms can include difficulty urinating or pain in the back, hips or legs.
Causes and Risk Factors
Although the cause of prostate cancer is unknown, several factors are associated with an increased risk of developing this cancer.
- Age. About 80 percent of these tumors are discovered in men older than 65.
- One in six men will develop invasive cancer of the prostate during his lifetime, though not all of these cancers will be life-threatening and require aggressive treatment.
- Family history. Men with relatives who have prostate cancer are at greater risk, especially if those relatives were diagnosed before the age of 60. If these relatives are first degree (i.e. father, brother), the risk is even higher.
- Black men are twice as likely to develop prostate cancer as Caucasian men and are more likely to develop an aggressive form of the disease
- High-fat diet and obesity