Genetic And Environmental Factors Of Prostate Cancer

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The prostate is a walnut sized shaped gland surrounding the top of the urethra whose growth and function is controlled by hormones such-as testosterone. A normal prostate in adult men has a mean weight of about 11g. The function of the prostate is to produce a majority of seminal fluid (Marker et al. 2003).

Prostate cancer (PCa) is the commonest malignancy tumour in men and is second in cancer related death after lung cancer. PCa is mainly adenocarcinomas originating from the cortex of the gland (D’Elia et al. 2014).

Aetiology

There is no definitive cause of PCa but age, race and family history are important risk factors.

Age

The average age of diagnosis is between 65 - 70 years old. The risk of PCa increases with advancing age due to improved living causing an accumulation of cancer-causing faults in their DNA. It is thought to be due to a mix of genetic and environmental factors (Bechis, et al, 2010).

Race

In the UK African and Caribbean men are 2 or 3x more likely to develop PCa than Caucasian men. Asian men are least likely to develop PCa. Japanese- American men have a higher rate of PCa than native Japanese men. This could be because of their diet, co-existing medical conditions, obesity etc that affect the severity of the cancer. Genetic factors have been identified with 8q24 being the most important. 8q24 contains regulatory variants, which modulate genetic risk to various cancers like PCa and is thought the locus might function as a regulatory hub by
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