By MaleProstateHealth • July 27, 2016 • Comments Off on Causes of Prostate Cancer
Cancer tumours grow from cells that have undergone genetic mutations. These changes cause cells to multiply at very fast rates. They eventually form a mass that keeps growing – this is called a tumour.
In some people, the genetic mutation is inherited. Some prostate cancers occur in men who have particular genetic mutations, such as genetic mutations seen in some families with breast and ovarian cancer. However, most cancer-causing genetic changes occur after birth.
Some genes don't directly cause cancer, but may make cells more vulnerable to carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) found outside the cell. Men of African descent have almost double the prostate cancer rates of Caucasians, possibly due to this factor.
Various factors can increase or reduce the chance of mutations, and therefore cancer. The following factors are believed to increase the risk of prostate cancer:
age: especially over 65
family history: having a father or brother with prostate cancer doubles your risk
race: men of African descent are more likely to get prostate cancer and men of East Asian descent are at a lower risk
geography: prostate cancer is rarer in Asia, Africa, and South America
weight, physical inactivity: overweight and inactive men have higher rates of prostate cancer
diet: eating high-fat foods and red meats, and not eating enough vegetables, fruits, and fibre
Diet may be a crucial factor in prostate cancer. The fact that Africans are far less affected by prostate cancer than Americans of African descent suggests that diet and lifestyle are partly to blame. Research has shown a link between high saturated-fat diets and prostate cancer. Some experts argue that a lack of fruits and vegetables is the problem, and that people with high-fat diets get more cancer because they tend not to eat enough vegetables. Along with a high-fat diet, very high calcium intake has also been linked to prostate cancer.
Some foods may protect against prostate cancer. Tomatoes, grapefruit, and watermelon all contain lycopene, a chemical that may lower risk of prostate cancer. Many studies have also suggested a protective effect for vitamins E, selenium, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy. If you plan on supplementing your diet with any of these nutrients, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist first. For example, high doses of zinc supplements (more than 100 mg daily) may lead to an increased risk of developing the condition.
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