Who Is at Risk for Prostate Cancer?

Photo of an African-American man

All men are at risk for prostate cancer, but African-American men are more likely to get prostate cancer than other men.

All men are at risk for prostate cancer. Out of every 100 American men, about 13 will get prostate cancer during their lifetime, and about 2 to 3 men will die from prostate cancer.

The most common risk factor is age. The older a man is, the greater the chance of getting prostate cancer.

Some men are at increased risk for prostate cancer. You are at increased risk for getting or dying from prostate cancer if you are African-American or have a family history of prostate cancer.

African-American Men

  • Are more likely to get prostate cancer than other men.
  • Are more than twice as likely to die from prostate cancer than other men.
  • Get prostate cancer at a younger age, tend to have more advanced disease when it is found, and tend to have a more severe type of prostate cancer than other men.

Family History (Genetic Risk Factors)

For some men, genetic factors may put them at higher risk of prostate cancer. You may have an increased risk of getting a type of prostate cancer caused by genetic changes that are inherited if—

  • You have more than one first-degree relative (father, son, or brother) who had prostate cancer, including relatives in three generations on your mother’s or father’s side of the family.
  • You were diagnosed with prostate cancer when you were 55 years old or younger.
  • You were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and other members of your family have been diagnosed with breast, ovarian, or pancreatic cancer.

Talk to your doctor about your family’s health history. For more information, visit the National Cancer Institute’s Genetics of Prostate Cancer (PDQ®)–Health Professional Version.external icon

Page last reviewed: February 24, 2021