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Prostate Cancer - What Increases Your Risk

Some things can increase your chances of getting prostate cancer. These things are called risk factors. But many people who get prostate cancer don't have any of these risk factors. And some people who have risk factors don't get this cancer.

Age

Being older than 50 is the main risk factor for prostate cancer. About 6 out of 10 new prostate cancers are found in men who are 65 or older.2

Family history

Your chances of getting the disease are higher if other men in your family have had it.

  • Your risk is doubled if your father or brother had prostate cancer. Your risk also depends on the age at which your relative was diagnosed.
  • Men whose families carry the gene changes that cause breast cancer, BRCA1 or BRCA2, are thought to be at increased risk for prostate cancer.

Race

  • Prostate cancer is more common among African-American men than men of other races. African-American men also have a greater chance of getting the kind of prostate cancer that grows and spreads.
  • In men of other races, non-Hispanic white men are more likely to get prostate cancer than Hispanic or Asian-American men.

Other factors

  • What you eat. Men who live in countries where people eat more red meat and fats are more likely to be diagnosed with and die from prostate cancer, according to some studies. Eating more lycopene, found in tomatoes and beets, may reduce the risk.
  • Hormones. Researchers are studying the link between high testosterone levels and prostate cancer.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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