Causes of Prostate Cancer

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Currently, no clear cause of prostate cancer is identified in the majority of cases. The tumour begins when some of the cells present in the prostate are altered and become abnormal. The growth and accumulation of these cells give rise to a prostate tumour, which can evolve to grow and affect neighbouring organs, such as the rectum or bladder. In addition, some of these cells can break off and cause the disease at a distance (metastasis), in other parts of the body.

Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer

Factors that can increase the risk of prostate cancer are:

Woman growing older from childhood to old age

Age. The greater the age, the greater the likelihood of having a prostate tumour. 75% of cases occur in patients aged over 65, and only around 0.6% are found in patients under 45.

Three people with different skin colour

Origin. The mechanism is unknown, but prostate cancer is more aggressive and usually diagnosed at a more advanced stage in patients of African-American descent.

Family and family tree indicating hereditary factors

Background. If you have family members who have had prostate cancer you have an increased risk of developing it, so there is a certain genetic predisposition. There is a particularly strong link if family members developed a tumour before they were 50. In addition, there is an increased risk if you have a mutation in the BCRA1 and BCRA2 genes, which are involved in breast and ovarian cancer.

Obesity can be cause and/or risk factor of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Metabolic Syndrome. No association between metabolic syndrome and prostate tumour has yet been demonstrated, although tumours are often diagnosed in more advanced stages in obese patients.

Food pyramid

Nutrition. Diet does not influence the incidence of prostate cancer, although some studies indicate that there is a relationship with high fat diets.

Testosterone supplements in patients with hypogonadism (lack or defect of the sexual organ) do not increase the risk of prostate cancer.

What is Cancer?

General information about Cancer

Read more

Substantiated information by:

Antoni Vilaseca
Ascensión Gómez Porcel
Izaskun Valduvieco
Meritxell Costa
Oscar Reig Torras
Pilar Paredes Barranco
Rafael Salvador

Published: 6 May 2019
Updated: 6 May 2019

The donations that can be done through this webpage are exclusively for the benefit of Hospital Clínic of Barcelona through Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica and not for BBVA Foundation, entity that collaborates with the project of PortalClínic.


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