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Understanding Your Road

What Are Prostate Cancer Risk Factors?

Older men are more likely to develop prostate cancer, as the chance of having prostate cancer rises rapidly after age 50. About six in 10 cases of prostate cancer are found in men over the age of 65.

Family history may be a risk factor. If your father or brother has had prostate cancer, you are about twice as likely to develop this disease compared to a man with no family history of the disease. The risk is even higher for men with several relatives who have or had prostate cancer.

While reasons are unknown, race also plays a role in who is at risk for prostate cancer. African-American men are 1.6 times more likely to get prostate cancer than Caucasian men. Prostate cancer occurs less often in Asian-American and Hispanic/Latino men than in non-Hispanic Caucasian men. 

Risk factors

  • Age 50 or older
  • Family history
    Father or brother has had prostate cancer
  • Race/Ethnicity 
    African-Americans are at higher risk than Caucasians and Hispanics. Prostate cancer occurs less often in Asian-American and Hispanic/Latino men than in non-Hispanic Caucasian men
  • Pre-cancerous prostate changes can be a precursor to cancer
  • Genetic (chromosomal) abnormalities
    Such as a certain altered or missing gene