Prostate Cancer Risk Factors: Key Demographic and Statistical Overview | Max Hospital

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Prostate Cancer Risk Factors: Key Demographic and Statistical Overview

By Dr. Tushar Aditya Narain in Robotic Surgery

Jul 01 , 2024 | 2 min read

Prostate cancer, once considered a rare occurrence in India, has been on the rise over the past few decades. This rise in cases has raised concerns among healthcare professionals and the public alike.

Current Statistics

As of the latest available data up to September 2021, prostate cancer has become the second most common cancer among men in India, owing to the easily available PSA screening blood test and increased awareness among older men. The statistics reveal a startling increase in the number of cases diagnosed annually. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) suggests approximately 40,000 new cases of prostate cancer were reported in India in 2020. This number represents a considerable rise from previous years.

Trends in Prostate Cancer Incidence

Many factors contribute to the increasing incidence of prostate cancer in India. One major factor is the ageing population. As life expectancy in India has risen, so has the likelihood of developing age-related diseases like prostate cancer. Moreover, improved diagnostic techniques like serum PSA blood tests, MRIs, and PSMA PET scans of the prostate, as well as increased awareness among the public and healthcare providers, have led to more frequent and accurate diagnoses.


Prostate cancer in India is predominantly an ailment of older men. The chances of developing prostate cancer increase with age; most cases occur in men over 50. However, it's essential to note that prostate cancer can affect younger men as well, although this is relatively rare and mostly familial.

Risk Factors

Knowing the risk factors associated with prostate cancer is crucial for prevention and early detection. Factors that may be potential contributors to the development of prostate cancer in India include:

  • Age: As mentioned earlier, age is a significant risk factor. The chances of prostate cancer increase significantly after the age of 50.
  • Family History: Men with a family history of prostate cancer are at higher risk. Having a close relative, such as a father or brother, with the disease increases one's likelihood of developing it.
  • Genetics: Certain genetic mutations or variations may also increase the risk of prostate cancer, the mutation in the BRCA gene.
  • Diet: A diet low in fruits and veggies and high in red meat contributes to a higher risk of prostate cancer. Consuming excessive quantities of dairy products, particularly high-fat dairy, may also be a risk factor.
  • Obesity: There are some studies that suggest a connection between obesity and an increased chance of aggressive prostate cancer.
  • Lifestyle: Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption may contribute to the risk of developing prostate cancer.
  • Geographic Variation: Interestingly, the incidence of prostate cancer varies across different regions of India. Southern India has reported higher incidence rates compared to other regions.

Prostate cancer is rising in India, and understanding the current statistics, trends, demographics, and risk factors associated with the disease is vital. Early detection through lifestyle modifications (like adopting a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight) and regular screenings can play a role in reducing the risk of prostate cancer.

Additionally, individuals with a family history of the disease should be especially vigilant and consider early screening. Increasing awareness about prostate cancer and its risk factors is key to addressing this growing health concern in India.