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Q:
What is the most important risk factor for prostate cancer?

A:
One of the best ways to stay a step ahead of cancer is to be aware of who is likely to develop the disease. Typically, these factors range from ones within your control, like how often you exercise, to ones that are unavoidable, like genetic predisposition.

When it comes to prostate cancer, a man’s age is the most important risk factor for developing the disease.

As men grow older, the likelihood that they’ll develop prostate cancer gradually increases. According to the National Cancer Institute, prostate cancer is rare in men under the age of 45 and that most incidences of prostate cancer occur in men who are 65 or older. Statistics from the American Cancer Society show that from 2002 to 2006, the median age at diagnosis of prostate cancer was 68, and the median age at death from prostate cancer was 80. During that time, the age group which showed the highest incidence rate of prostate cancer was men ages 70 to 74.