What causes prostate cancer is still not known
exactly but, researchers have found some risk factors and are
progress toward understanding how these factors cause
cells in the prostate gland to become cancerous.
During the past few years, scientists have made great progress
in understanding how certain changes in DNA can cause normal
prostate cells to grow abnormally and form cancers. DNA is the
chemical that carries the instructions for nearly everything
our cells do. We usually resemble our parents because they are
the source of our DNA. However, DNA affects more than our
outward appearance. Some genes (parts of our DNA) contain
instructions for controlling when cells grow and divide.
Certain genes that promote cell division are called oncogenes.
Others that slow down cell division or cause cells to die at
the appropriate time are called tumor suppressor genes. It is
known that cancers can be caused by DNA mutations (defects)
that turn on oncogenes or turn off tumor suppressor genes.
Some people with certain types of cancer have DNA mutations
they inherited from a parent. Researchers have recently found
that inherited DNA changes in certain genes make them more
likely to develop prostate cancer. These genetic changes
appear to be responsible for about 10 per of prostate cancers.
DNA mutations related to prostate caner usually
develop during a man's life rather than having been inherited
There is evidence that development of prostate cancer is
linked to increased levels of certain hormones. High levels of
androgens (male hormones) may contribute to prostate cancer
risk in some men. Researchers have recently noted that men
with high levels of another hormone, insulin-like growth
factor-1 (IGF1), are more likely to develop prostate cancer.
Presentation on Flash