Exploring the Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer

Father and his son looking at the camera

Many types of cancer, including prostate cancer, come with controllable and uncontrollable risk factors. Key to protecting your health is knowing which factors you have the power to change and monitoring the ones you do not. West Hills Hospital & Medical Center encourages men in the greater West Hills community to become informed about their risk for this disease.

Excessive Weight
Being overweight can cause a host of health problems. Studies have found that excessive weight can significantly increase one’s chances of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and prostate cancer. Though many types of prostate cancer grow at a relatively slow rate, researchers have determined that obesity puts men at a higher risk for fast-growing types of prostate cancer. If you’re overweight, consult your doctor. If diet and exercise aren’t enough to combat your obesity concerns, you may be eligible for surgical weight loss.

Family Members with Prostate Cancer
It’s essential that men establish an open dialogue with their families to fully understand their cancer risk. Family history is an important factor when it comes to one’s likelihood of developing prostate cancer. If you don’t know your grandfather, father, or brother’s history with this disease, now is the time to ask. Knowing the occurrence of prostate cancer in your family can determine the age at which you begin getting regular prostate cancer screenings.

Older Age
Age is the predominant risk factor for prostate cancer, and one that cannot be changed. That’s why healthcare providers stress that men with no other risk factors start their prostate cancer screenings by their fiftieth birthday, as the majority of men with this disease are this age or older. Men with additional risk factors should speak with their physicians about getting screened at an earlier age.

Let your family toast to your health this Father’s Day. Call West Hills Hospital & Medical Center at (818) 676-4000 to set up an appointment for a prostate cancer screening. If you need immediate assistance, we encourage you to use our iTriage Symptom Checker application.

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