While factors such as race and family history make certain groups more vulnerable to prostate cancer, age is the biggest risk indicator across the board. In general, around 40 per cent of men over 50 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point. This figure rises to 70 per cent among the 80-year-olds.
But, as prostate cancer evolves slowly, most men will die from other causes before the cancer rears its ugly head. As a result, many believe it may be worthwhile adopting a 'watchful waiting' approach if you are over 50, which entails waiting until symptoms occur or get worse before going for any treatment.
This treatment approach may also be suggested to men whose prostate cancer is at a very early stage.
For other alternatives, please consult our special report on prostate cancer in WDDTY vol 13 no 5.