Common Prostate Cancer Causes

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, and scientists are still trying to determine prostate cancer causes. Despite the fact that, other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, causes of prostate cancer are still somewhat of a mystery.

The Prostate

Before discussing possible prostate cancer causes, it is important to understand exactly what the prostate is. The prostate is an exocrine gland only found in the male reproductive system, which sits directly under the bladder. The urethra, which carries urine and semen out of the body, travels through the prostate. The many glands inside the prostate produce fluid that forms part of the semen, as well as protecting and nourishing sperm as it is expelled after orgasm. In addition, the prostate helps control urine with the use of muscle fibers found in the gland.

Poor Diet

A diet heavy in fat, meat and sugar, while also being low on fruits, vegetables and fiber are also possible prostate cancer causes. Studies show a strong relationship between saturated or dairy fats and prostate cancer. In addition, obesity also increases the risk of developing prostate cancer, although some studies show that because obesity is often due to a poor diet, it is difficult to determine if diet is the main problem, or the added pounds.

Chemical Exposure

There is evidence that one prostate cancer cause is exposure to pesticides and herbicides, especially pesticides containing methyl bromide. Farm workers exposed to this chemical show a higher risk of prostate cancer. Veterans exposed to Agent Orange are also at higher risk of developing prostate cancer.

Changes in DNA

Some possible prostate cancer causes occur due to changes in the DNA of a normal prostate cell. About five to ten percent of prostate cancers are linked to inherited DNA changes, while others develop due to DNA changes that occur throughout a man’s lifetime. Every time a cell divides, it must copy DNA, and sometimes mistakes happen, leaving flawed DNA in the new cell, that may lead to the development of cancer.

Age of Patient

Prostate cancer is rare in men younger than 40, but the risk of getting the disease increases after age 50. Almost two out of three patients diagnosed with prostate cancer are found in men over the age of 65. Some studies indicate that age as a prostate cancer cause is realted to biochemical reactions that contribute to abnormal cell growth as men grow older.

Family History and Race

Men with a father or brother diagnosed with prostate cancer have more than twice the risk of being diagnosed as well, according to the Zero Cancer Center. In addition, rates of prostate cancer are 60 percent higher among African-American men, and their mortality rate is more than double that of Caucasian men. Scientists are looking at causes of prostate cancer related to genes that may be responsible for these statistics, including the Hereditary Prostate Cancer Genes 1 and 2.

Scientists are still learning the possible prostate cancer causes that exist, but have determined that these may have a direct effect on the disease. Learn more information on causes of prostate cancer.

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