Prostate cancer is mainly hereditary
Although the National Cancer Institute (National Institutes of Health) says family history is one of the main risk factors for developing prostate cancer (age and race are the other two most important factors), He notes that only 5 to 10 percent of cases « are believed to be primarily caused by high-risk hereditary genetic factors or prostate cancer susceptibility genes.
The institute mentions that having a brother with prostate cancer is a higher risk than if your father had the disease. However, the risk always increases if a first-degree relative (parents, siblings, children) was diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 65.
Higher levels of prostate specific antigens mean you have prostate cancer
A PSA test can measure prostate-specific antigens in your body, which are believed to trigger an immune system response. However, if your test shows a high PSA level, it doesn’t mean you have cancer – the increased PSA response can also be from recent sexual activity or other medical conditions.
In fact, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, overweight men with prostate cancer may actually have lower PSA levels due to the increased volume of blood. Also, it probably goes without saying then that a PSA test is not a cancer test, noted the foundation, which calls the test more of a « first warning » indicator.