Introduction: In Malaysia, prostate cancer is ranked 6th among male cancer and expected to increase in the future. Several factors have shown to be related to prostate cancer such as sociodemographic, lifestyle, diet, occupational exposure, medical and health status. This is the first time a similar study was conducted in Malaysia to recognize the risk factors for prostate cancer patients who came for treatment at University Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC).
Methods: Prostate cancer cases diagnosed between 2003 and 2008 which met with the inclusion criteria were included in the study. One hundred and twelfth (112) pairs of cases and controls matched by age and ethnicity were analysed. McNemar Odds Ratios (OR(M)) were calculated using McNemar Calculator software for univariate analysis while conditional logistic regression was used for multivariate analysis, both using SPSS version 12.0.
Results: Most of the prostate cancer patients (68.8%) that came for treatment in UKMMC were above 70 years old. The majority were Chinese (50.0%) followed by Malay (46.4%) and Indian (3.6%). Multivariate analysis showed cases were more likely to have a first-degree relative with a history of cancer (OR= 3.77, 95% CI= 1.19-11.85), to have been exposed to pesticides (OR= 5.57, 95% CI= 1.75-17.78) and consumed more meat (OR= 12.23, 95% CI= 3.89-39.01). Significantly reduced risks of prostate cancer were noted among those consuming more vegetables (OR= 0.12, 95% CI= 0.02-0.84), more tomatoes (OR= 0.35, 95% CI= 0.13-0.93) and those who had frequent sexual intercourse (OR= 0.44, 95% CI= 0.19-0.96).
Conclusion: Some lifestyle and occupation factors are strong predictors of the occurrence of prostate cancer among patients in UKMMC. More importantly, with the identification of the potentially modifiable risk factors, proper public health intervention can be improved.