Risk Factors and Causes of Prostate Cancer
The specific causes of prostate cancer have yet to be explained. But although these causes remain a mystery, the identification of several risk factors has helped scientists develop treatment and management methods to improve the condition of patients.
Since cancer of the prostate affect only men, studies attempting to understand the causes of prostate cancer have usually focus on the physiological, psychological and other health concerns related to men. The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system and has an important role in storing and making seminal fluid. Because it is near the urinary bladder and the urethra, the gland affects urination, ejaculation and defecation.
Among the factors implicated in the development of prostate cancer, age is the most important. According to scientists, a man's chance of developing cancer in the prostate increases as he ages. Most diagnosis are made among men beyond the age of 50, with 70 as the average. Aside from age, other factors like genes, race, lifestyle, diet and medications are also believed to influence the development of prostate cancer.
According to studies, men who have first degree relatives diagnosed with cancer have a higher tendency to develop cancer in the prostate. The younger the relative was when the condition was diagnosed, the higher the chances of another male relative having the same condition. Among the races, African Americans have recorded the highest number of cases of prostate cancer, while the lowest numbers were among Asian men.
Diet and lifestyle are also believed to influence men's development of the disease. Men who eat more red meat are believed to be more likely to develop the condition, while those who have more vegetables and fruits in their regular diet have a lower chance rate. This assumption is supported by statistics that showed higher incidence rates among Westerners as compared with Asians. Additional intake of lycopene-rich foods, vitamin E, selenium, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids have been recommended by scientists to maintain a healthy prostate and lower the susceptibility to cancer and diseases such as prostatitis and benign prostatic hypertrophy.
Although the causes of prostate cancer are not yet pinpointed by scientists, the identification of risk factors definitely helped in the development of treatment techniques and maintenance methods. Experts are hopeful, though, that eventually, the precise cause of this condition will be identified.
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