Genetic Causes Of Prostate Cancer

Within every cell in the human body is DNA which carries information. It has been estimated by researchers that each single cell contains thirty thousand different types of genes.

Genes are found in chromosomes of which, there are 23 pairs in every cell. One chromosome is inherited from the father and the other from the mother and together, they make a pair. Genes control everything in the body like how fast it grows, the rate at which the cells divide, for how long the cell will live etc. For controlling these functions, specific tasks have to be performed and there are instructions and codes in all the genes.

When the genes get mutated or changed, a different, abnormal protein or sometimes, no protein is created at all. This sends a different signal to the cell than a normal protein and the cells start to multiply at an uncontrollable rate and start getting cancerous. One can either inherit cancerous cells from their parents or can acquire mutation in a single cell in their lifetime.

In case of acquired mutation, all the calls which are born from that mutated cell become cancerous and this is called somatic mutation. Almost seventy five per cent of prostate cancers are sporadic. This means that after a person is born, any cell is accidentally damaged. Familial cancer is the trait of cancerous cells being handed down from generation to generation and makes up only about twenty per cent of the cases. This happens for a number of reasons like shared genes, environmental factors and lifestyle factors. Hereditary prostate cancer is very rare, only about five per cent of all the cases and are passed down from generation to generation.

Each cell generally, has 2 copies of each gene. On is inherited from the father and the other, from the mother. The strange thing about hereditary mutation is that if one copy is affected of the gene, the chance of getting the disease increases. This means that the offspring of parents, one of whom have the mutated gene, runs a fifty per cent chance of getting prostate cancer. Their siblings also, run the same risk.

A man who has an average risk of getting prostate cancer has approximately fifteen per cent chance of getting it by the time he is 80 years old. African-American men have a higher risk of getting affected than white men. The reason for this is still being researched.