Of all cancer diseases, prostate cancer is known to be the third most common cause of death for men of all ages. And for families who have been afflicted with this illness, it is important to get information and understand the causes of prostate cancer to better comprehend the bigger scenario of the illness.
Prostate cancers are classified depending on tumor size. Identifying the location and severity of the cancer, called staging, will help the doctor identify which treatment is best for the patient. As to causes, there is no specific and single cause for prostate cancer. There are however studies to show what these common elements are among patients, and these are the following:
- Testosterone. This male hormone is responsible for the growth of normal prostate tissue, so researchers attribute this hormone to be the one responsible for the growth of prostate cancer cells. Produced by the testicles, some studies on prostate cancer treatments try to reduce the production and release of testosterone to see whether this can also inhibit the growth of the prostate cancer cells.
- Age. As the body gets weaker in time and systems deteriorate, the possibility of having prostate cancer increases corresponding to the person's age. Men younger than 40 years old are thought to be at a lesser risk. Men over this age at are a higher risk, and mortality for this illness rises in men over 75 years old. Some studies suggest that an estimated 50% - 80% of men over 80 years of age may have prostate cancer.
- Heredity and genetics. If a person's father or a sibling has had prostate cancer, they are at a greater risk. The family's history may well indicate whether anybody else in the family can have the disease. Also, African American men are said to be at a higher risk of getting prostate cancer. Scientists are studying the Hereditary Prostate Cancer Genes 1 and 2 (HPC1, HPC2) and HPCX, which they say contribute to passing on prostate cancer genes from one family member to another. Some studies suggest that heredity plays a role only in other types of cancer, and not prostate cancer, but this theory is yet to be evaluated by medical researchers in the years to come.
- Diet and lifestyle. Studies suggest that consuming too much animal fat (high in saturated fat) may increase your risk in developing prostate cancer. Cigarette smoking has also been blamed as contributing to prostate cancer. Occupational hazards such as those working with chemicals are also said to be at greater risk. On the other hand, those who are found to be healthy and free from prostate cancer are those who consume more fruits and vegetables in their diet (tomatoes in particular are said to decrease the risk of acquiring this illness).
Just as there are other types of cancer (pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, or ovarian cancer), prostate chemotherapy and prostate surgery are commonly available to treat prostate cancer. Radiation therapy is also an option in how to treat for prostate cancer (upon the analysis of your doctor of course).