A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop prostate cancer with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing prostate cancer. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.
Some factors cannot be controlled, such as age or ethnicity. In general, prostate cancer risk increases in men starting at age 50 years old, and is mainly found in men over 65 years old. Prostate cancer rates are higher in African American men.
Other factors that may increase the chance of prostate cancer include:
Physical activity and cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/physical-activity-fact-sheet. Updated January 27, 2017. Accessed April 12, 2017.
Prostate cancer. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114483/Prostate-cancer. Updated February 18, 2017. Accessed April 12, 2017.
Prostate cancer risk factors. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/risk-factors.html. Updated March 11, 2016. Accessed April 12, 2017.
Prostate cancer screening. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113802/Prosta...cancer-screening. Updated July 7, 2016. Accessed April 12, 2017.
What causes prostate cancer? Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/prostate-cancer/causes. Accessed April 12, 2017.
9/4/2013 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance. http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113802/Prosta...cancer-screening: Ansbaugh N, Shannon J, Mori M, et al. Agent Orange as a risk factor for high-grade prostate cancer. Cancer. 2013;119(13):2399-2404.
Last reviewed September 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.