Skip to main content

Risk Factors That Can Lead to Prostate Cancer

4 min read

By Katherine George

While the exact causes of prostate cancer remain unclear, certain risk factors have been identified that can increase the likelihood of developing this disease. We explore the key risk factors associated with prostate cancer, providing valuable information to help individuals understand their susceptibility. A better understanding leads to more informed decisions regarding screening, prevention, and early detection. Learn everything you need to know about prostate cancer with a search online right now!


According to WebMD, the risk of prostate cancer is strongly linked to age. For white individuals without a family history, the source states that the risk increases significantly at age 50. On the other hand, for black individuals or those with a family history, the risk rises at age 40.

Approximately two-thirds of prostate cancer cases are diagnosed in men aged 65 and older, adds WebMD. As men age, the disease tends to be less aggressive, especially after the age of 70.

Family History

Prostate cancer can be hereditary, running in certain families, although most cases occur in individuals without a family history. Having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles a man’s risk, warns the American Cancer Society. In addition to that, there’s a higher risk seen in those with an affected brother compared to an affected father.

The American Cancer Society adds that the risk increases for individuals with multiple affected relatives. This is especially true if they were diagnosed at a young age.

Race and Ethnicity

African-American men have a higher incidence of prostate cancer, says WebMD, with rates 60-percent more frequent than in white American men. Not only that, but when diagnosed in African-American men, it tends to be more advanced, adds the source.

Interestingly, rates of prostate cancer are lower among Japanese and African men in their native countries but increase significantly upon immigrating to the United States. As a result, WebMD recommends that African-American men begin prostate cancer testing at age 50.


Another risk factor highlighted by Johns Hopkins Medicine is diet. Research suggests that dietary patterns commonly found in industrialized Western countries may contribute to the development of prostate cancer. The source lists the following as key findings regarding diet and prostate cancer risk:

  • Fat Intake: High-fat diets, particularly those rich in red meat and high-fat dairy products, have been linked to an increased likelihood of developing prostate cancer, according to multiple studies.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Diets abundant in fruits and vegetables have been associated with a potential reduction in prostate cancer risk. However, the specific nutrients responsible for this effect have not yet been identified.
  • Carotenoids: Carotenoids, such as lycopenes, have demonstrated inhibitory effects on the growth of human prostate cancer cells in laboratory experiments. Processed tomatoes are the primary source of lycopenes. However, the direct impact of lycopenes on prostate cancer risk in men remains unclear. More research is required to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between these dietary factors and the risk of prostate cancer.

Geographic Location

Prostate cancer is more common in North America, northwestern Europe, Australia, and the Caribbean, says the American Cancer Society. On the other hand, it’s prevalent in Asia, Africa, Central America, and South America. The exact reasons for these geographic disparities are not fully understood, although increased screening efforts in developed countries may contribute to the observed differences.

The variation in prostate cancer rates across regions is influenced by a combination of factors, such as dietary habits. While increased screening practices in certain countries contribute to higher incidence rates, the American Cancer Society claims lifestyle differences, particularly dietary choices, are considered significant as well.

Inherited Gene Mutations

Inherited gene mutations can contribute to the risk of developing prostate cancer, says the Canadian Cancer Society, although they account for a small number of cases. Currently, widespread gene testing for prostate cancer is not conducted. The source lists the most common gene mutations associated with prostate cancer as HOXB13 and BRCA2.

The BRCA2 gene mutation is also linked to a higher risk of breast or ovarian cancer. Extensive research is underway to investigate numerous other gene mutations that may influence the risk of prostate cancer development, adds the Canadian Cancer Society.

Chemical Exposure

Exposure to certain chemicals, such as pesticides used in agricultural jobs, has been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer, warns the Canadian Cancer Society. This is especially true in individuals with a family history of the disease. However, the source notes that the specific chemicals and level of exposure contributing to prostate cancer risk are still being studied.

Cadmium, a carcinogenic metal, has also been implicated in prostate cancer development, says the Canadian Cancer Society. This is often seen among men in industries involving smelting or battery manufacturing. However, not all research consistently shows this increased risk, emphasizing the need for further investigation. Another potential chemical contributor to be wary of are those found in rubber manufacturing. Again, the source states that more research is necessary to fully understand this association.

Senior Managing Editor

Katherine is the Senior Managing Editor of ActiveBeat and Childhood. She is constantly striving to live a more active and healthy life, from eating healthy, exercising, and just spending more time outdoors. She enjoys cooking (with wine), walking her dog, reading, and recently joined a yoga studio!

Your Health


Get Your Gourmet On: Enjoy Delicious Meal Delivery Starting At $1.49 Per Serving
By Chris Brown Your Health

Get Your Gourmet On: Enjoy Delicious Meal Delivery Starting At $1.49 Per Serving

The culinary landscape has been transformed by healthy, satisfying, and affordable meal delivery services. These days, busy individuals, burgeoning home chefs, and anyone who relishes the pleasure of a well-prepared meal can enjoy delicious meal delivery starting at just $1.49 per serving. You read that right. If you’re on a quest for the best affordable […]

Read More about Get Your Gourmet On: Enjoy Delicious Meal Delivery Starting At $1.49 Per Serving

4 min read

Drugs That Melt Away Pounds Still Present More Questions Than Answers, but Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro Could Be Key Tools in Reducing the Obesity Epidemic
By Wesley Dudgeon Your Health

Drugs That Melt Away Pounds Still Present More Questions Than Answers, but Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro Could Be Key Tools in Reducing the Obesity Epidemic

In the past five years, several new drugs have been brought to market that could lead to a profound, if not revolutionary, change in how health care providers – and the public – view weight loss. Three drugs in particular – sold under the brand names Wegovy, Ozempic and Mounjaro – have shown remarkable effects […]

Read More about Drugs That Melt Away Pounds Still Present More Questions Than Answers, but Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro Could Be Key Tools in Reducing the Obesity Epidemic

7 min read

How to Treat Jellyfish Stings (Hint: Urine Not Recommended)
By Richard McGee and Michelle Welsford Your Health

How to Treat Jellyfish Stings (Hint: Urine Not Recommended)

If you have been stung by a jellyfish at the beach, you’ll know how painful and unpleasant it can be. But how best to treat jellyfish stings has been debated over the years. Is it best to use hot water or an ice pack? How about pouring on vinegar or rubbing with sand? Then there’s […]

Read More about How to Treat Jellyfish Stings (Hint: Urine Not Recommended)

4 min read