Being male. Age – Men who are 50 and older are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Race / Ethnicity – Prostate cancer occurs more often in African-American and Caribbean men of African ancestry than in men of other races. And it occurs more often in whites than in men of Asian or Hispanic/Latino ancestry. Geography – Prostate cancer is more common in North America, Northwest Europe, Australia, and the Caribbean islands. It is less common in Asia, Africa, Central America, and South America.

Family History – Having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles a man’s risk of developing the disease. Gene changes – Scientists have found several inherited gene mutations that seem to raise prostate cancer risk in a small percentage of men.

Diet – Men who eat a lot of red meat or high-fat dairy products appear to have a slightly higher risk of getting prostate cancer. These men also tend to eat fewer fruits and vegetables. Doctors aren’t sure which of these factors is responsible for raising the risk.


Age, race, and family history are factors for prostate cancer that can’t be controlled. However, you can control lifestyle habits that might put you at risk. Eat a wide variety of vegetables and fruits daily. Stay physically active. Maintain a healthy weight.


Prostate cancer is more likely to be curable when found early. Tests for detecting prostate cancer include: PSA (Prostate-specific-antigen) Test – Prostate cancer can often be detected by testing the amount of PSA in a man’s blood. When prostate cancer develops, the PSA level usually rises above 4. (Although, a PSA less than 4 does not guarantee that a man doesn’t have cancer.) If the PSA is more than 10, the chance of having prostate cancer is over 50%. If your PSA level is high, your doctor may advise you to wait for a period of time and repeat the test, or to get a prostate biopsy. Factors such as age, race, and family history, may influence your doctor’s recommendation.

DRE (Digital rectal exam) – The doctor insets a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel for any bumps or hard area on the prostate that might be cancer. DRE is less effective than the PSA blood test for finding prostate cancer, but it can sometimes find cancers in men with normal PSA levels.

A discussion with your doctor about screening should take place at: Age 50 – men at average risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years. Age 45 – men at high risk of developing prostate cancer. This includes African American men who have a father, brother, or son diagnosed with prostate cancer at an age younger than 65. Age 40 – men at very high risk. This includes men who have more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age. (Sources: ACS www.cancer.org; Mayo Clinic www.mayoclinic.org)


 2016 Cancer Awareness and Prevention Campaign

Presented by the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County in collaboration with the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency.

The Cancer Resource Centers mission is to improve the quality of life for those in Mendocino County faced with cancer.

Coastal Office: 45040 Calpella Street, Mendocino, CA 95460 | (707) 937-3833

Inland Office: 590 South Dora Street, Ukiah, CA 95482 | (707) 467-3828

Health and Human Services Agency | (707) 472-2333