What Should I Know if I Have a Family History of Prostate Cancer?

There are several things that can increase the chances of a man developing prostate cancer at some point in life. Having a family history of prostate cancer is a well-known risk factor, along with age and race. According to the American Cancer Society, if your father or brother has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, it more than doubles your risk of developing the disease. The risk is higher if your brother has prostate cancer, and it’s even higher if you have multiple relatives who have been diagnosed. It’s particularly risky if those relatives were diagnosed at a younger age than the norm (around 60 years of age) or if the prostate cancer is aggressive. 

When it comes to family history, prostate cancer isn’t the only thing you should look out for. If you have relatives with hereditary breast or ovarian cancer, you’re also at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. Be sure to discuss your family history with your doctor, and keep up with your annual prostate exams. Men with an average risk of developing prostate cancer should start getting routine exams at 50 years old, but men with certain risk factors should start even earlier than that. If you have a family history of the disease, your doctor will likely want to start screening you for prostate cancer around age 40 or 45. 

While prostate cancer can be hereditary, it’s important to note that the majority of prostate cancers develop in men without a family history of it. It’s also important to understand that just because you have a family history of prostate cancer, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will eventually develop the disease yourself. Staying up to date on your exams and being open and honest with your doctor are key.

At Arkansas Urology, we’re here for you. Our patients’ health has been and will always be our top priority! Do you need to schedule an appointment? Contact us today or book your appointment online. We look forward to seeing you soon.


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