Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer

Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer can increase due to Age, Race and Family History


Early detection of cancer can be the next best thing to prevention. There are several widely known risk factors for prostate cancer that may increase the probability of a man developing prostate cancer. Age, race, and family history are the most common.

According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), prostate cancer that runs in a family, called familial prostate cancer, occurs about 20% of the time. Shared genes, similar lifestyles, and environments all play a role in developing familial prostate cancer.

Hereditary prostate cancer accounts for almost 5% of cases. This type of gene mutation is passed down within family generations. A few characteristics for hereditary prostate cancer could include:

• Prostate cancer diagnosed in three generations on the same side of the family
• Three or more relatives with prostate cancer
• Two or more close relatives diagnosed before age 55

Visit with a physician to find out if your family health history is in the gene pool for familial or hereditary prostate cancer.  If so, what is the best next step?  If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, how do you know the best treatment options?

Provision CARES Proton Therapy has seen this connection on several rare occasions. Brothers, David and Steve W., are all too familiar with prostate cancer diagnosis. Their father and uncle had prostate cancer causing the brothers’ risk factors for prostate cancer to increase. David, 55, was the first brother to be diagnosed with prostate cancer two years ago. His family encouraged him to research proton therapy treatment options. David began his research online, where he found Provision. He was treated with proton therapy for prostate cancer in 2016 and is doing well. “I can run circles around these guys,” he said.

When Steve, 56, was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he knew he wanted proton therapy. Prostate cancer was his third cancer diagnosis after a prolactin gland tumor and a tumor in his left eye; both were treated with conventional radiation. Based on his own experience with traditional radiation and the experience of his uncle and brother, he knew he wanted to be treated with protons.

Benefits of proton therapy for prostate cancer:

• 71% of patients reported significantly better overall quality of life after treatment
• 80% reported being able to remain active during treatment with proton therapy

Steve was able to work full time during his treatments and the Provision team worked with his schedule so that he could drive back and forth from Greenville, South Carolina for treatment every day.

Advice from the Patient: 

From David:

“Knowledge is the key. Proton therapy was the last treatment option I researched. I was originally scheduled for surgery. I am so thankful I continued my research and found Provision CARES Proton Therapy. It is important to look at quality of life and reduced risk. Proton therapy, to me, was a no brainer. You can see the positivity from the patients in the lobby. Be knowledgeable and educated on all of your treatment options.”

From Steve:

“Explore all your options and educate yourself. My wife did all the research online and did not leave any stone unturned. Getting to the point of starting treatment was a battlefield for me and my family. However, the benefits and technology behind proton therapy is well worth the battle. Continue the fight until you get where you deserve to be.”