Risk factors for prostate cancer

The key risk factor for prostate cancer is the male hormone, testosterone. Without it prostate cancer cannot develop. Other possible factors affecting the development of prostate cancer are described below.

1. Testosterone, the male hormone

Prostate cancer develops due to the effect of testosterone. Men in whom the effect of testosterone transfers to the cells more strongly than normal may have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. If a boy has been castrated before puberty he will not be able to develop prostate cancer.

2. Genetic factors

Approximately 40% of your risk of developing prostate cancer is based on genetic factors. If your father, brothers or other close relatives have had prostate cancer, your risk of developing the disease is also greater.   

3. High PSA level at a young age

Men with a high PSA level at a young age (approx. 40 years) have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.

4. Diet

Diet may have an impact on the development of prostate cancer, but the effect is not well known. Eating red meat, a diet rich in fat and food preparation methods may have an impact. In general, food that is bad for the heart also increase the risk of prostate cancer.

5. Being overweight

Being overweight increases the risk of prostate cancer. The reason for this is not known.

Professor Teuvo Tammela from the University of Tampere was interviewed for this article.