Risk Factors & Screenings
The following factors can raise a man's risk of developing prostate cancer:
- Risk of prostate cancer goes up as men get older.
- In the US, African-American men are more likely to get prostate cancer and die of it than in men of other races.
- Prostate cancer is most common in North America, northwestern Europe, Australia, and the Caribbean and less common in Asia, Africa, Central and South America.
- Family history
- Men with close family members (father or brother) who have had prostate cancer are more likely to get it themselves, especially if their relatives were young when they got the disease.
- Scientists have found some inherited genes that seem to raise prostate cancer risk, but they account for only a small fraction of cases.
- Men who eat a lot of red meat or high-fat dairy products seem to have a greater chance of getting prostate cancer.
- Some studies have found that obese (very overweight) men may be at greater risk for having more advanced prostate cancer and of dying from prostate cancer, but not all studies have found this.
Screening for prostate cancer
Screening for prostate cancer is done to find evidence of cancer in otherwise healthy men. Two tests are commonly used to screen for prostate cancer: the PSA blood test and digital rectal examination (DRE, a test in which the doctor inserts a gloved lubricated finger into a man's rectum and feels the surface of the prostate for any irregularities).
The following factors may raise a person's risk of developing kidney cancer:
- Smoking increases the risk of developing renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The increased risk seems to be related to how much you smoke. The risk drops if you stop smoking, but it takes many years to get to the risk level of someone who never smoked.
- RCC is about twice as common in men as in women. Men are more likely to be smokers and are more likely to be exposed to cancer-causing chemicals at work, which may account for some of the difference. African Americans and American Indians/Alaska Natives have slightly higher rates of RCC than do whites. The reasons for this are not clear.
- Nutrition and Weight
- People who are very overweight have a higher risk of developing RCC. Obesity may cause changes in certain hormones that can lead to RCC.
- High blood pressure
- The risk of kidney cancer is higher in people with high blood pressure. Some studies have suggested that certain medicines used to treat high blood pressure may raise the risk of kidney cancer, but it is hard to tell if it's the condition or the medicine (or both) that may be the cause of the increased risk.
- Family history
- People with a strong family history of renal cell cancer (without one of the known inherited conditions listed previously) have a higher chance of developing this cancer. This risk is highest in brothers or sisters of those with the cancer. It's not clear whether this is due to shared genes, something that both people were exposed to in the environment, or both.
- Long-term dialysis
- People with advanced kidney disease, especially those needing dialysis, have a higher risk of RCC. Dialysis is a treatment used to remove toxins from your body if the kidneys do not work properly.
- Specific genetic disorders
- von Hippel-Lindau disease, hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma, hereditary leiomyoma renal cell carcinoma, Birt-Hogg-Dube (BHD) syndrome, familial renal cancer, hereditary renal oncocytoma.
The following factors may raise a person's risk of developing bladder cancer:
- Tobacco Use
- Smoking is the most important risk factor for bladder cancer. Smokers are at least 3 times as likely to get bladder cancer as nonsmokers. Smoking causes about half of the bladder cancers in both men and women.
- The risk of bladder cancer increases with age. About 9 out of 10 people with bladder cancer are older than 55. Bladder cancer is much more common in men than in women. Whites are about twice as likely to develop bladder cancer as African Americans. Hispanics, Asian Americans, and American Indians have slightly lower rates of bladder cancer. The reasons for these differences are not well understood.
- Certain industrial chemicals have been linked with bladder cancer. Chemicals called aromatic amines, such as benzidine and beta-naphthylamine, which are sometimes used in the dye industry, can cause bladder cancer.
- Chronic bladder problems
- Urinary infections, kidney and bladder stones, bladder catheters left in place a long time, and other causes of chronic bladder irritation have been linked with bladder cancer (especially squamous cell carcinoma of the bladder), but it is not clear if they actually cause bladder cancer.
- Cyclophosamide use
- Long-term use of the chemotherapy drug cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) can irritate the bladder and increase the risk of bladder cancer. People taking this drug are often told to drink plenty of fluids to help protect the bladder from irritation and decrease the risk of bladder cancer.
The following factors can raise a man's risk of developing testicular cancer. However, it is important to note that the cause of testicular cancer is not known.
- About half of testicular cancers occur in men between the ages of 20 and 34. But this cancer can affect males of any age, including infants and elderly men. The risk of testicular cancer among white men is about 4 to 5 times that of black men and more than 3 times that of Asian-American men. The risk for Hispanics/Latinos and American Indians falls between that of Asians and non-Hispanic/Latino whites. The reason for these differences is not known.
- One of the main risk factors for testicular cancer is a condition called cryptorchidism, or undescended testicle(s). This means that one or both testicles fail to move from the abdomen (belly) into the scrotum before birth. Males with cryptorchidism are several times more likely to get testicular cancer than those with normally descended testicles.
- Family/personal history
- A family history of testicular cancer increases the risk. If a man has the disease, there is an increased risk that one or more of his brothers or sons will also develop it. But only a small number of testicular cancers occur in families. Most men with testicular cancer do not have a family history of the disease.
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection
- Some evidence has shown that men infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), particularly those with AIDS, are at increased risk. No other infections have been shown to increase testicular cancer risk.