The exact cause of prostate cancer is unclear, but there are many possible risk factors.
Prostate cancer is rare among men under the age of 45 years, but more common after the age of 50 years.
Prostate cancer occurs most frequently in North America, northwestern Europe, on the Caribbean islands, Australia and Southern Africa. The reasons remain unclear.
Certain genetic and ethnic groups have an increased risk of prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is at least 60 percent more common and 2 to 3 times more deadly among black men than non-Hispanic white men.
A man also has a much higher risk of developing cancer if his identical twin has it, and a man whose brother or father had prostate cancer has twice the risk of developing it compared to other men. Having a brother who has or has had prostate cancer is more of a genetic risk than having a father with the disease.
Studies have suggested that a diet high in red meat or high-fat dairy products may increase a person’s chances of developing prostate cancer, but the link is neither confirmed nor clear.
Some research has suggested that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) use may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Others have linked NSAID use with a higher risk of death from the disease. This is a controversial area, and results have not been confirmed.
There has also been some investigation into whether statins might slow the progression of prostate cancer. One 2016 study concluded that results were “weak and inconsistent.”
It is often believed that obesity is linked to the development of prostate cancer, but the American Cancer Society maintains that there is no clear link.
Some studies have found that obesity increases the risk of death in advanced cancers. Studies have also concluded that obesity decreases the risk that a cancer will be low-grade if it does occur.