Researchers aren’t certain about the exact causes of prostate cancer, but changes in the DNA that controls the function of cells are involved. Mutations in genes that control cells, including prostate cells, can be inherited or acquired during a man’s life.
These mutations may interfere with oncogenes, which help cells grow, and tumor suppressor genes, which repair or control cells, according to the American Cancer Society
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Other factors also have an impact on the changes of cells and contribute to the onset of prostate cancer.
Here are six things you should know about the possibility of developing prostate cancer:
1. Heredity plays a role
in gene mutations in about five to 10 percent of prostate cancers, says Healthline
. Researchers have linked several inherited mutated genes and continue to search for others. A family history of prostate cancer means a man has an increased risk of developing the disease.
2. Acquired gene mutations
happen at some point during a man’s life. The American Cancer Society explains defective DNA accelerates the growth and division of cells in the prostate, increasing the chances for mutations and the development of prostate cancer. Different factors may influence the DNA changes.
3. These influences include age.
While one in 10,000 men under age 40 develop prostate cancer, the risk increases to one in 38 for men ages 40 to 59, and then jumps to one in 14 for those ages 60 to 69, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation
. More than 65 percent of prostate cancer cases happen to men over age 65.
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4. Race plays a role.
African-Americans are more likely to develop prostate cancer than Caucasians, and are more than twice as likely to die from the disease. Asian men have the lowest occurrence of prostate cancer.
5. American men have a 17 percent chance
of developing prostate cancer compared to 2 percent for men in rural China. The risk for Chinese men increases when they move to a Western country.
6. Lifestyle and diet
may be factors in aggressive prostate cancer, including smoking, lack of vegetables in the diet, lack of exercise, and a high-calcium diet. Obesity increases the risk for aggressive prostate cancer, but it is not linked to slow-growing cancer of the prostate, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Knowing the causes and risks involved in prostate cancer should help guide men's decisions on regular checkups and tests.
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