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Family Genetics and Associated Risks of Developing Prostate Cancer

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Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and occurs in the male reproductive system (Williams, 2013). Few known and many unknown risk factors are related to prostate cancer, including family history, age and diet (Zatzkin, 2013.) Prostate cancer has many unclear and unknown causes, considering it is a severe and deadly type of cancer no accurate cause has been established (Chavarro, et al, 2013). Much research has been done into finding cures, although only some preventative methods have been proven to work.

The most common risk factor of prostate cancer is known to be family history. The risk of one developing this disease may increase if one has a 1st degree relative suffering, or has more than one relative who is suffering from prostate cancer (Williams, 2013).The risks are also influenced by the age of diagnosis. Most develop prostate cancer after the age of 50, however most don’t get diagnosed until around the age of 65. If prostate cancer is left undiagnosed for too long, it could eventually spread throughout one’s body and lead to bone cancer (Zatzkin, 2013). Less important risk factors that can still put someone at risk for developing this disease include one’s diet. Diets which are high in fat, high in red or processed meats, and high in milk or dairy products are all minor risk factors (Zatzkin, 2013). Factors which are not completely known to put someone at risk but are still suggested include; inherited gene mutations, inflammation of the prostate circulating testosterone, exposure to pesticides and occupational exposures (Canadian Cancer Society, 2013).

Prostate cancer has many unclear causes; according to doctors, cancer in the prostate begins when the normal living cells within the prostate gland become abnormal (Hensrud, 2013). These cells contain a mutation in the DNA and therefore become cancerous (Hensrud, 2013). Unusual mutations in the cells produce quick growth, speedy division and create a longer life span compared to regular cells (Varmus & Weinberg, 2013). Characteristics which allow for these cancer cells to do so include; larger, multiple nuclei, variance in shape, zero orderly arrangement, disorganization, a larger number of dividing cells and coarse chromatin (Tweddle, 2013). Large amounts of these abnormal, cancer cells may eventually cause tumours to form, growing over surrounding tissues and spreading to other parts of the body (Varmus & Weinberg 2013). No known cause has been identified, although many research studies have been concluded to provide possible causations (Chavarro, et al, 2013). One study proves through animal experimentation in mice that behavioural stress promotes cell death and delays tumour shrinkage (Hassan, et al, 2013). The results within this study demonstrated interactions between one’s psychosocial environments and the prostate tumour itself (Hassan, et al, 2013). Other general factors which contribute to the cause of prostate cancer are genetics, age, overall diet and as stated above; stress (Zatzkin, 2013).

Prostate cancer attains no proven ways to completely cure the disease, although there are alternative ways to reduce the risks (Hensrud, 2013). Modifying your lifestyle is known to present the best outcomes among preventative interventions (Hensrud, 2013). Acceptable choices which benefit your overall health include; low fat diets, consuming more fat from plants rather than animals, increasing your fruit and vegetable intake, decreasing your dairy intake, consuming reasonable amounts of fish, adding soy to your diet, consuming more rice and pasta, drinking green tea, moderately consuming alcohol and exercising regularly (Nordqvist, 2013). Much research has been done regarding prevention interventions. In particular, one study titled “Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention Article” conducted research on polyunsaturated fatty acid levels in blood and how they relate to prostate cancer risks (Chavarro, et al, 2013). It was proven that long chain fatty acid intake decrease the risk of prostate cancer, while other common fatty acids proved to increase the risk of prostate cancer (Chavarro, et al, 2013). These findings can propose that tumour characteristics impact relations between specific fatty acid levels in blood and prostate cancer (Chavarro, et al, 2013). This research study is one of many which provide general yet uncertain information relating to preventions of prostate cancer. Overall, developing healthy habits and positively modifying one’s lifestyle will help to delay, and possibly prevent any development of prostate cancer (Nordqvist, 2013).

In conclusion, cancer in the prostate is a serious and painful disease to develop and suffer from (Walsh, 2013). It is unfortunate that prostate cancer research still seems to be unclear; containing many unknown variables, considering it is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among men. Multiple unknowns are yet to be determined in the future including causes and cures. Fortunately, for the present day we can utilize the known risk factors to attempt to prevent this deadly disease of prostate cancer (Hensrud, 2013).

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Family Genetics and Associated Risks of Developing Prostate Cancer. (2018, December 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 30, 2022, from
“Family Genetics and Associated Risks of Developing Prostate Cancer.” GradesFixer, 11 Dec. 2018,
Family Genetics and Associated Risks of Developing Prostate Cancer. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 30 Sept. 2022].
Family Genetics and Associated Risks of Developing Prostate Cancer [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Dec 11 [cited 2022 Sept 30]. Available from:
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