Learn About Prostate Cancer


Though many risk factors for prostate cancer lie outside of our control (see below), there is strong and consistent evidence that staying at a healthy weight lowers risk for advanced and aggressive prostate cancer. AICR estimates that approximately 1 in 10 cases (eleven percent) of these prostate cancers is related to carrying excess body fat.

This means that nearly 2,600 cases of advanced prostate cancer could be prevented every year.



Age: The older you are, the greater your risk. The overwhelming majority (97%) of prostate cancers occur in men 50 and older. Ethnicity: Prostate cancer is most common in North America and northern Europe. African-American men have the highest prostate cancer incidence rates in the world.
Family History: The National Cancer Institute estimates that between 5 and 10 percent of prostate cancers are the result of a strong genetic predisposition. Obesity: The Continuous Update Project has concluded that being overweight or obese increases a man's risk for advanced prostate cancer.


Approximately 220,800 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the U.S. every year. Of these, an estimated 28,700 are advanced or aggressive forms of the disease. The disease claims almost 27,500 U.S. lives annually.

older man in tshirt and shorts kneeling on a football field flexing his arms

Focus on the Risk Factors You Control

Today, over 90 percent of prostate cancers are diagnosed at an early stage. Earlier detection, combined with more effective treatment, has made prostate cancer more survivable than ever.

Two screenings for prostate cancer are the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal examination (DRE).

These tests can diagnose both the aggressive, advanced stages of prostate cancer and cancer that is so slow-growing it may not require  treatment. Some experts advise against routine screenings to avoid “overtreatment” of cancers that are not life-threatening.

Be sure to discuss your screening options with your doctor.

  • AICR's Foods That Fight CancerTM

    AICR’s new web resource keeps you up-to-date about the latest research on foods that belong at the center of your New American Plate.

Get To a Healthy Weight

A healthy overall lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and healthy plant-based foods will help you get to, and stay at, a healthy weight, which not only lowers risk for advanced prostate cancer, but eight other cancers as well.

What the Research Shows


PROBABLE Effect on Risk Body Fatness
Adult Attained Height
NO SUBSTANTIAL Effect on Risk: Beta-carotene
*Source: CUP Report: Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective

What’s the Link?

Excess Body Fat RAISES Prostate Cancer Risk

  • Being overweight and obese increases blood levels of insulin and related hormones that can encourage the growth of cancer.
  • Excess fat also creates a pro-inflammatory environment in the body that can contribute to the growth of cancer.

Adult Attained Height RAISES Prostate Cancer Risk

  • Many interrelated hormonal factors influence how tall a person grows; some of these factors also influence cancer risk.
  • It's not tallness itself that increases risk, but the network of factors that contribute to tallness.

Beta-carotene Has No Substantial Effect on Prostate Cancer Risk

  • The AICR/WCRF expert report concluded there is strong and consistent evidence that beta-carotene in food or in supplement form is neither harmful nor beneficial in regard to prostate cancer.

For related AICR supported studies visit our research section.

Looking Forward


If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with prostate cancer you will face many everyday questions. AICR can help.

AICR's CancerResource: A Program for Those Living with Cancer is a free toolkit of information specifically for the newly diagnosed cancer patient. Developed with an Advisory Committee of experts, AICR CancerResource's offers worksheets and guidance on eating and being active both during and after treatment.

You can download the digital toolkit for free. To see inside pages and purchase a hardcopy of the handbook, visit our store.

Visit our section for Cancer Survivors for more resources and information.

Join the fight against cancer

Join the Fight Against Prostate Cancer

Nearly 233,000 new cases of prostate cancer occur annually but few Americans
 realize that making simple, everyday lifestyle changes could prevent over 1 
in 10 of the most aggressive, deadly cases.

Your gift will help fund emerging research on prostate cancer and other cancers and improve the quality of health for prostate cancer patients and survivors.

Honor Someone Facing Prostate Cancer

Make a gift in honor of a loved one. Your gift will help fund research and survivorship programs for those with prostate cancer and other cancers for years to come.

Give in Memory of a Loved One

Make a gift in memory of a loved one. Your gift will help fund research and survivorship programs for those with prostate cancer and other cancers for years to come.