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Are Younger People At Risk Of Prostate Cancer?


Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide. Among the most common cancers is prostate cancer, which affects about 10.41 lakh people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The American Cancer Society (ACS) suggests that about one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. However, each man’s risk can vary depending on their age, race, and other factors.

Prostate Cancer Risk Higher In Older Men

Speaking with the OnlyMyHealth team, Dr Anil Mandhani, Executive Director and Head of Urology and Kidney Transplant at Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, shares that prostate cancer usually develops in men over the age of 55.

About six in ten cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in men who are 65 or older, suggests ACS, sharing that it is rare in men under 40.

Also Read: Frequent Urination To Blood In Urine, Symptoms That Should Urge You To Get Tested For Prostate Cancer

“The average age of men when they are first diagnosed is about 67,” the health body adds.

What Puts Young People At Risk?

Early-onset prostate cancer is becoming a common concern among young people.

While prostate cancer is more prevalent among older adults, there has been an increase in younger people developing the disease.

A 2019 study published in the Journal of the American Cancer Society suggests that worldwide, the incidence of prostate cancer has increased in all groups between the ages of 15 and 40.

While the exact cause is still unclear, experts believe it may be related to certain risk factors.

According to Dr Mandhani, these include genetics, lack of exercise, smoking, absence of a healthy lifestyle, stress, consumption of highly processed foods, and lack of regular sex.

Early Detection Is Key

Dr Mandhani recommends a simple blood test called serum PSA (prostate-specific antigen), which is a good indicator to proceed further with the diagnosis.

“Men above 55 or those who have any male members in the family with prostate cancer should have this test done at the age of 45,” he advises.

He further adds that, unlike breast cancer and cancer of the testis in men, there is no way to physically feel the prostate. The only test that helps is serum PSA.

Also Read: PSA Test For Prostate Cancer Diagnosis: Things Men Need To Know About It

Common Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer

Here are some of the common symptoms of prostate cancer: 

  • Difficulty in urination
  • Weak or disturbed urine flow
  • Frequent urination
  • Feeling that the bladder is not empty
  • Pain or discomfort in the pelvic area, around the waist
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Weight loss
  • Swelling in the legs or feet

Bottomline

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. While it is more prevalent in older adults, it can also affect men below the age of 40. Besides getting regular screenings for prostate cancer, it is also important to take preventative measures, including regular physical activity, maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limiting the intake of red and processed meats. Additionally, avoiding tobacco products and moderating alcohol consumption can also help.

Most importantly, younger adults with a family history of prostate cancer may benefit from discussing their risk factors with healthcare providers to determine appropriate screening schedules or preventive measures tailored to their individual circumstances.

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