When looking at why some people develop cancer and others don't, there are three factors that play a meaningful role and that are unchangeable: age, family history, and race. Depending on the type of cancer, one or more of these can play a pivotal role in increasing or decreasing your risk of developing the disease.
The older you are, the more likely you are to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Although only 1 in 10,000 under age 40 will be diagnosed, the rate shoots up to 1 in 39 for ages 40 to 59, and 1 in 7 for ages 60 to 79. If you're African-American, you're about 1.5 times as likely as Caucasian patients to be diagnosed, and if you have at least one first-degree relative with prostate cancer—a brother, a father, or even a son—you’re more than twice as likely as the average man to be diagnosed.