WHAT IS PROSTATE CANCER?
The prostate, a walnut-shaped gland in the male reproductive system, produces the fluid responsible for nourishing and transporting sperm.
Prostate cancer is a malignant tumor affecting the prostate gland. It is the most common non-skin cancer among American men. Its prevalence is lower in other parts of the world, such as Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Research shows that prostate cancer often progresses slowly and may not exhibit symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage, leaving many men unaware of its presence.
IDENTIFYING PROSTATE CANCER CAUSES
While the exact cause of prostate cancer remains uncertain, doctors have observed that DNA changes in the prostate gland lead to its development. This accelerates cell division, resulting in an accumulation of abnormal cells, forming a tumor that grows and extends into nearby tissues.
DNA (Desoxyribonucleic Acid) is the chemical name for the molecule that carries genetic instructions in all living things. Damage to DNA can activate regulatory genes or activate so-called tumor genes:
- Oncogenes are parts of a cell’s genetic material that promote the transition from normal prostate cell growth behaviour to unrestrained tumour growth.
- Tumor suppressor genes prevent the activation of oncogenes or have a regulatory influence on cell growth and differentiation.
DNA mutations will, therefore, keep oncogenes ongoing and stifle tumor repressor genes. Consequently, cells grow out of control.
The following factors are known contributors to prostate cancer:
- Diet: Consumption of red meat, especially when cooked at high temperatures, increases the likelihood of prostate cancer. High calcium intake, whether through food or supplements, is also associated with elevated risk.
- Fats: Increased fat consumption raises testosterone levels in the blood, promoting the growth of prostate cancer.
- Occupational Hazards: Certain industries, like welding, battery manufacturing, and rubber work, expose workers to cadmium and its derivatives, increasing the risk.
- Lack of Exercise: Sedentary lifestyles, high body mass index (obesity), smoking, and high calcium linoleic acid intake are linked to increased risk.
- Sexually Transmitted Infections: STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea can lead to prostate inflammation, heightening the risk.