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Causes of Prostate Cancer

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A man’s prostate is a chestnut-sized male gland. It lies between the bladder and rectum, wrapped around the urethra, which is a tube that leads from the bladder to the outside of the body.

The cause of prostate cancer in men is still unknown; however, research to determine how cancer cells start to grown and spread is still underway. Researchers have found that certain risk factors may cause prostate cells to become cancerous.

Scientists have discovered that changes in DNA of a prostate cell are the cause of prostate cancer. They learned that changes in DNA could cause normal prostate cells to grow abnormally which forms cancer. DNA is the chemical that carries the instruction for nearly everything our cells do. The reason an individual resembles their parents is because the parents are the source of that person’s DNA.

Researchers have discovered that there are risk factors that may contribute to the development of prostate cancer. Risk factors for prostate cancer include advancing age, heredity, hormonal influences, improper diet and environmental factors such as toxins, chemicals and industrial products.


With age, more hormones, testosterone, collect in the prostate and in the blood stream. The body converts the testosterone into a more potent form called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). However, too much DHT in the body causes various reactions in different men, which include baldness, excess body hair growth and cell multiplication, eventually produces enlargement of the prostate. Men over the age of 50 are at risk for prostate cancer and the risk increases with age. According to, a continued intense study about the aging process is to decide if aging contributes to abnormal cell growth.

An enlarged prostate, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), can tighten around the urethra, putting pressure on it and making it difficult to urinate. Other symptoms such as frequent nighttime urination, pain, along with other uncomfortable symptoms. If this condition remains untreated, a certain percentage of cases may lead to prostate cancer.


An increased risk is when a man’s father or an older brother had prostate cancer. African American men are also at an increased risk. Genes that may be responsible for inherited prostate cancer are called Hereditary Prostate Cancer Genes 1 and 2 (HPC1, HPC2) and HPCX.

Research has discovered that these genes contribute to prostate cancer; however, it is not known exactly what degree they are involved.


Through recent research, scientists have discovered that genetic flaws are responsible for many cancers. These genetic flaws may keep some men from developing a particular enzyme, which could increase a defense against cells susceptible to cancer causing agents in the environment.


The male hormone, testosterone, does not cause prostate cancer; however, it is believed that testosterone feeds the development of prostate cancer by stimulating the growth. Some cancer treatments focus on blocking the body from producing testosterone.


Studies have found that a diet high in animal fat may raise a man’s risk in developing prostate cancer; however, adding fruits and vegetables, especially tomato-based products, to a diet, may reduce the risk.

Environmental Factors

Cigarette smoking, substances or toxins in the environment or from industrial sources might encourage the development of prostate cancer; however, might also promote the development of prostate cancer. Radiation or cancer-causing chemicals may cause DNA mutations in many organs of the body. The study of these environmental factors has not been clearly identified.

According to, some recent studies have found that inflammation of the prostate may contribute to prostate cancer. One theory is that inflammation may lead to cell DNA damage, which might in turn push a cell closer to becoming cancerous. More research in this area is needed.

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