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Risk Factors

Prostate Cancer Risk Factors

Doylestown Health's Cancer Institute's specialists are available to discuss your personal risk factors for prostate cancer. We encourage men in our community make informed decisions about their options for screening, diagnosis and treatment.

The American Cancer Society recommends that men at average risk of prostate cancer begin discussing their options with their primary care physician when they are age 50 and expect to live at least 10 more years. Men at higher risk, including certain ethnic groups and men with a family history of the disease, should start discussing their options with their physician before age 50.

The following are the major risk factors associated with prostate cancer:

  • Age: A man's age is the leading risk factor for prostate cancer. More than 70 percent of men diagnosed with prostate cancer are over age 65. According to the National Cancer Institute, one in six men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime, and the risk increases significantly after age 60. Many men will have some form of the disease after age 80. It is rare for younger men to have prostate cancer.
  • Ethnicity: African-American men have a higher risk for prostate cancer than men of other races or ethnicity. Latino men are also at higher risk for prostate cancer. Asian and Native American men have a lower chance of getting prostate cancer than other ethnic groups.
  • Family history: Men who have a first degree blood relative, such as father, brother or son, are at a higher risk for developing prostate cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, men who have more than one first degree relative with prostate cancer should start discussing their options with their physician at age 40.
  • Weight or Body Mass Index: Men who are obese or consume a high-fat diet may be at risk for prostate cancer.

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