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Prostate Cancer — Step 2:¬†Which Risk Factors May Apply to You? email this page to a friendemail this page
In this step, you explore how to know if any of the known risk factors for prostate cancer apply to you.  If you need to review the basics, check out What Are Risk Factors?  and What is Risk Exposure?
Find out more:
Research on prostate cancer risk factors 
Relative risk of prostate cancer based on family history
Prostatitis: infection of the prostate BPH: enlarged prostate

Understanding Prostate Cancer Risk Tool
Check the risk factors that apply to you to build your own list. Then go to Step 3 to learn what you can do to reduce your risk for factors in your list. After you build your list, you can print it out and take it with you to your doctor.

Prostate Cancer Risk Factor

How Will I Know?

Does This Risk Factor
Apply to Me?


Age is the most important risk factor for prostate cancer. The chance of getting prostate cancer increases with age. If you are less than age 40, your chances of developing prostate cancer are low (1 in 19,299). After age 40, the risk rises. If you are age 40 to 59, your risk is 1 in 45. Iif you are age 60 to 79, your risk is 1 in 7.


If you are African American, you are at highest risk for prostate cancer—it tends to start at younger ages and grows faster than in men of other races. Your risk is 60 percent higher than White men. If you are White, you are at the second highest risk for developing prostate cancer. If you are Hispanic or Native American, you are at the third highest risk. If you are Asian American, you are at the lowest risk.

Family history of prostate cancer

If you have a father or a brother with prostate cancer, your risk of developing it increases 2 to 3 times that of men without family involvement. If you have a mother or a sister with breast cancer, your prostate cancer risk may increase slightly. About 5 to 10 percent of prostate cancer cases are believed to be due mainly to high-risk, inherited genetic factors or prostate cancer susceptibility genes.

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