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Prostate Cancer: Risk Factors

No one knows the exact causes of prostate cancer. Doctors seldom know why one man develops prostate cancer and another doesn't. However, research has shown that men with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop prostate cancer. A risk factor is something that may increase the chance of getting a disease.

Studies have found the following risk factors for prostate cancer:

  • Age: Most men with prostate cancer are older than 65. Prostate cancer is rare in men younger than 45.
  • Race: Prostate cancer is more common in African Americans than in any other group.
  • Family history: A man’s risk is higher if his brother or father had prostate cancer, especially if these relatives were young when they were diagnosed with the disease.
  • Certain prostate changes: Men with cells called high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) may be at an increased risk for prostate cancer. These are prostate cells that look abnormal under a microscope.

Many men who have known risk factors do not get prostate cancer. On the other hand, men who get prostate cancer often have no known risk factors.

Last updated: 5/26/2010 3:10:56 PM