Prostate Cancer | Causes & Risk Factors


What causes prostate cancer?

Doctors don’t know exactly what causes prostate cancer, but they do know that certain things may increase your risk for developing prostate cancer.

What are the risk factors for prostate cancer?

The risk factors for prostate cancer include:

  • Older age: Although men of any age can get prostate cancer, it is most common in men older than 65 years of age. In fact, more than 65% of prostate cancers are diagnosed in men older than 65 years of age.
  • Race: For unknown reasons, African-American men are 60% more likely to develop prostate cancer than Caucasian men.
  • Family history: Men who have a father or brother with prostate cancer have an increased risk for developing prostate cancer themselves.
  • Obesity: Obese men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer are more likely to have an advanced or aggressive cancer.


See a list of resources used in the development of this information.

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 08/12
Created: 01/99