It's not known exactly what causes prostate cancer, although a number of things can increase your risk of developing the condition.
- age – the risk rises as you get older, and most cases are diagnosed in men over 50 years of age
- ethnic group – prostate cancer is more common among men of African-Caribbean and African descent than in Asian men
- family history – having a brother or father who developed prostate cancer before age 60 seems to increase your risk of developing it; research also shows that having a close female relative who developed breast cancer may also increase your risk of developing prostate cancer
- obesity – recent research suggests there may be a link between obesity and prostate cancer, and a balanced diet and regular exercise may lower your risk of developing prostate cancer
- diet – research is ongoing into the links between diet and prostate cancer, and there is some evidence that a diet high in calcium is linked to an increased risk of developing prostate cancer
Want to know more?
- Prostate Cancer UK: are you at risk?
- Prostate Cancer UK: diet, physical activity and your risk of prostate cancer
- Cancer Research UK: prostate cancer risks and causes
Page last reviewed: 12 June 2018
Next review due: 12 June 2021