What Are the Causes of Prostate Cancer?

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The prostate gland is a small organ located in men’s lower pelvis. It is made up of two lobes, each about the size of a walnut. The prostate is a vital part of the male reproductive system. It produces the fluid that makes semen. It also produces hormones that help control sexual desire and other body functions. In men, the prostate surrounds the urethra, the tube through which urine passes out of the bladder. The urethra opens into the bladder, which stores urine until it is time to pass it out.

The prostate is one of the most common sites for cancer in men. Prostate cancer can develop in any area of the gland, but it is more common in the central portion of the prostate, called the transitional zone.

Causes of Prostate Cancer

There are many factors that contribute to the development of prostate cancer. Some of these include:

  • * Genetics – Your family history may play a role in your risk for developing prostate cancer.
  • * Age – Prostate cancer is more common in older men than younger men.
  • * Race – African American men have a higher incidence of prostate cancer than Caucasian men.
  • * Family history – Men with a father or brother who had prostate cancer have a higher risk of developing the disease.
  • * Obesity – Being overweight increases your risk of developing prostate cancer.
  • * Tobacco use – Men who smoke cigarettes have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is usually first detected by a physical examination. A digital rectal exam (DRE) is performed by inserting a gloved finger into the rectum to feel if there is any enlargement or thickening of the tissue surrounding the urethra. If prostate cancer is found during this exam, further testing may be recommended. This may include a blood test, bone scan, and/or an MRI.

If prostate cancer is found, treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, or hormone therapy. Hormone therapy is often given before surgery or radiation therapy, as it can reduce the size of the tumor.

Early detection and treatment of prostate cancer can help to improve the outcome of the disease.