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What Are the Risk Factors?

Research has found risk factors that increase your chances of getting prostate cancer. These risk factors include—

  • Age: The older a man is, the greater his risk for getting prostate cancer.
  • Family history: Certain genes (passed from parent to child) that you inherited from your parents may affect your prostate cancer risk. Currently, no single gene is sure to raise or lower your risk of getting prostate cancer. However, a man with a father, brother, or son who has had prostate cancer is two to three times more likely to develop the disease himself.
  • Race: Prostate cancer is more common in African-American men. It tends to start at younger ages and grow faster than in other racial or ethnic groups, but medical experts do not know why.

Researchers are trying to determine the causes of prostate cancer and whether it can be prevented. They do not yet agree on the factors that can influence a man’s risk of developing the disease, either positively or negatively.