Risk Factors

Research has shown that men with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop prostate cancer.

  • Age - Age is the main risk factor for prostate cancer. The chance of getting prostate cancer increases as you get older. In the United States, most men with prostate cancer are over 65. This disease is rare in men under 45.
  • Family history - The risk is higher if a father or brother has had prostate cancer.
  • Race - Prostate cancer is more common among black men than white or Hispanic and Latino men. It is less common among Asian and Pacific Islanders and American Indian and Alaskan Native men.

Having a risk factor does not mean that a man will develop prostate cancer. Most men who have risk factors will never develop prostate cancer. Other possible risk factors are under study. Researchers are also studying how it may be prevented.

If you are 50 years of age or older, please talk to your doctor about prostate cancer screening and treatment options. Men who are at a higher risk for prostate cancer are encouraged to begin getting tested at age 45.


Page last updated: April 11, 2017