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Of all the non-skin cancers in America, Prostate cancer is THE most common. A staggering 1 in 6 men are affected by it!  Who is at most risk for this cancer, and why?   There are many risk factors.  Unfortunately many are not under our control, but some are.

Age: The older you are, the more likely you are to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. In fact more than 65% of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65—the average age being 69.

Race: Men of African descent are 60% more likely to develop prostate cancer compared with Caucasian men.  They are also nearly 2.5 times as likely to die from the disease. Conversely, Asian men who live in Asia have the lowest risk.

Family history/genetics: A man who has had a father or brother who developed prostate cancer is twice as likely to develop this cancer. However, if the cancer was detected in the family member early (under age 55) OR three or more family members have had it, the chances go up SIGNIFICANTLY!!

In addition, some genes increase mutational rates while others may predispose a man to infection or viral infections that can lead to prostate cancer.

Where you live: Overall, US men have a 17% chance of developing prostate cancer. For men in rural China, it is 2%.  However, Chinese men who have adopted a “western lifestyle” will have a significant increased risk.

According to www.pcf.org, “Men who live in cities north of 40 degrees latitude (north of Philadelphia, PA, Columbus, OH, and Provo, UT, for instance) have the highest risk for dying from prostate cancer of any men in the United States. This effect appears to be mediated by inadequate sunlight during three months of the year, which reduces vitamin D levels.”

November is Prostate Cancer Awareness month, and I am participating in No Shave November.  Are you?  My scruffy look is to help others become aware.  I think this facial hair is kind of growing on me.  (Pun is  sort of intended.)  Maybe I will keep it through the winter!!