Healthy Living

Prostate Cancer in Young Men: Why Are Rates Increasing?

Jun 6 2023

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men in the United States. While it is typically thought of as a disease of older men, prostate cancer in young men is on the rise. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, approximately 10 percent of all prostate cancer diagnoses are in men under the age of 55.

There are several factors that may be contributing to the increase in rates of prostate cancer in young men.

One factor is that men now live longer, which means they are more likely to have a prostate cancer diagnosis during their lifetime. Another factor is that changes in screening practices have led to more prostate cancers being detected in younger men.

Additionally, there are several lifestyle factors that may increase the risk of prostate cancer in young men, including:

  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • A diet high in red meat and processed foods
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Exposure to certain chemicals, such as pesticides and herbicides

“Ways you can lower your risk factors for prostate cancer include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet as well as avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption,” Hassan Beydoun, MD, a radiation oncologist at Mercy Health — Perrysburg Cancer Center, shares. “If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, it is important to talk to your doctor about your treatment options and to work together to create a treatment plan that is right for you.”

There are several different treatment options available, and the best option for you will depend on the stage of your cancer, your overall health, your responds to any side effects as well as your personal preferences.

“Prostate cancer is a serious disease, but it is important to remember that it is often treatable, especially when it is detected early,” Dr. Beydoun adds.  

If you are a young man with any concerns about your risk of prostate cancer, talk to your primary care provider. Depending on your personal risk factors, like a family history of prostate cancer, they may have you do a prostate cancer screening. This will involve a prostate specific antigen blood test and possibly a brief rectal exam.

Men diagnosed with early onset prostate cancer should remember that the survival rate is on the higher side. And again, this is especially true when it is detected early. So, talk to your provider about your screening options today!

Learn more about prostate cancer as well as both the primary care and cancer care services we provide at Mercy Health.

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