What Causes Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in the male population. Therefore, it is important to know what factors come into play when determining if you are at risk. Here are some of the causes of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is rare in other parts of the world. That alone suggests that environment and diet play a significant role in the formation of this type of cancer. It is not the number one killer of men but there are close to 30,000 deaths a year from the condition. African-American men have the highest incidence of prostate cancer.

Like any other cancer, cancer of the prostate begins with normal cells. When the cells start to grow out of control you have cancer. Prostate cancer has a very high cure rate when the cancer remains in situ (within the gland). Once the cancer metastasizes to other organs, the brain and/or bone, it is incurable.

So, what do you need to know about prostate cancer to lower your chances of developing the disease? First, let’s discuss the prostate. It is a small gland that is found below the bladder in the male reproductive system. This gland is responsible for creating most of the fluid that goes into making semen. The male hormone, testosterone, regulates the function of the prostate gland.

The prostate can become enlarged. This is called BPH or benign prostatic hypertrophy. It is uncomfortable to say the least, but there are no cancer cells. You won’t know if this is the case unless you get tested. Beginning at age 50, a yearly exam is recommenced to catch any cancer that may be growing there.

As we said, diet plays a role in the development of prostate cancer. Men who have a diet high in red meat and unhealthy fats are at greater risk. This excess animal fat increases the production of testosterone in the body. Prostate cancer is essentially a slow growing cancer, but testosterone increases the growth rate of the prostate tumor.

Have you heard about cooking on a charcoal grill? Substances produced in the char have been known to increase the incidence of cancer. Combine that with eating a lot of red meat like steaks and you have just upped your risk factors.

One major cause of prostate cancer is genetic. Those with a family history of prostate cancer need to seek a doctor’s advice on the matter. Yearly checkups will begin well before the age of 50 in these cases.

Doctors are hesitant to say that diet and genetics actually “cause” prostate cancer. They do significantly increase the risk that you will develop it. Changing what you eat and getting yearly tests may just keep the disease from ever touching your life in the first place.