US scientists claim to have identified several genetic risk factors leading to prostate cancer.
"The importance of it is that this is the first real evidence of the genetic basis of prostate cancer," said Brian Henderson, dean of the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and one of the researchers of the study.
"It gives us the first real insight we've had into the cause of this disease and how we might do something about it," Henderson added.
They found that chromosome 8 could hold the key. As many as seven genetic risk factors were found bunched in that particular chromosome. The presence of such a DNA sequence could help predict the probability of developing prostate cancer, it has been stated.
The prostate is a walnut-sized male sex gland located below the bladder. It makes a fluid that forms part of the semen that nourishes and carries sperm.
And prostate cancer typically grows slowly; if detected and treated early, chances of survival are excellent.
One in six American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. More than half of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over age 55, and the median age at diagnosis is 69.
Incidence rates are higher among African-American men and those with a family history of the disease, suggesting that there may be a genetic component for certain individuals.
Some earlier studies have suggested that diets high in fat may increase prostate-cancer risk.