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Risk Factors of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is most common among Black men, followed by Caucasian and then Asian men. It is more common in North America, northwestern Europe, Australia and the Caribbean. It is less common in Asia, Northern and Eastern Africa, Central America and South America.

Key risk factors for prostate cancer include:

Age
Age is the strongest risk factor for prostate cancer, especially if you are over 50 years old. However, it can still happen to younger men in their 20s and 30s. The risk for prostate cancer increases significantly as one ages.

If you are Black, of West African or Caribbean descent
For reasons not yet fully known, Black men have a 2x greater risk of developing prostate cancer than other races/ethnicities. According to the WHO, Black men of West African descent in North America and the Caribbean have the highest rates of prostate cancer and prostate cancer deaths.

Have a Family History of Prostate Cancer
If someone in your immediate family (eg. father, brother) has had prostate cancer your risk is 2x more likely to be diagnosed and if two family members have a history your risk is 4-5 times more likely. If three or more members of your immediate family has prostate cancer the risk rises to 97%.

Obesity, Smoking, Poor Diet or Chemical Exposure
Diets with large amounts of red meat, animal fats and dairy products have an increased risk. Obesity, smoking, consuming too much calcium, selenium and vitamin E can all contribute to an increased risk and aggressiveness of prostate cancer, or poorer outcomes from treatment. Obese men have more than twice the risk of dying from prostate cancer than those of normal weight at time of diagnosis.