Prostate Cancer Md Phd Gene – Is Prostate Cancer Genetic?

July 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer

The risk factors of prostate cancer are essentially age, genetics, race, diet, lifestyle, medications, and certain other factors that may contribute to the incidence of the disease in some way or the other. Of them all, age appears to be the most critical denominator because fewer than one in ten thousand men below the age of forty are diagnosed with prostate cancer, yet more than eighty percent of men over the age of eighty catch the same diagnosis. However, it appears that genetic inheritance is also a critical factor that one should pay attention to as a high risk factor.

It has been largely observed ? concluded even ? that men with a single first-degree relative such as a father, uncle, or brother, who have the history of prostate cancer tend to be twice as likely to develop the disease than those without any member of the family having received a previous diagnosis. Worse, men who have up to two or more relatives with the disease are as close as you want to think to four times as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. And even worse, if the affected family members were diagnosed when they were at a younger age ? which may be no more than the age of sixty ? the man is in that much greater risk. This is why experts have said genetics play a very big role in prostate cancer.

These prostate cancer facts are critical if you were writing an MD or PhD thesis because they delve into the role played by the gene as a risk factor for the carcinoma. It was not too hard to determine this, though, following the realization of an increased incidence of prostate cancer in certain racial groups like African American men, for instance. Using identical twins of men with prostate cancer, a specific case study in Scandinavia suggested that up to forty percent of prostate cancer risk is explained by inherited factors.

It was back in the ’60s that many researchers began to find genetic material contained in some viruses that could trigger cancers; and these viral oncogenes were found to be no more than copies of normal genetic material within the host cell. Genes that cause cancer; first found in viruses, but their evolutionary history implies that normal vertebrate cells have genes whose abnormal expression can lead to cancerous growth! That was some half a century ago.

Today, they have found that many cancers, and prostate cancer is not left out, are caused by such mutations in several different genes that accumulate as the person ages, causing errors in DNA replication that may occur during cell division, or damage by exposure to various environmental factors. Factors like cigarette smoke, radiation, and chemical pollutants? And therein lies your high risk factor for prostate cancer.

Two genes, specifically BRCA1 and BRCA2, which have been implicated in the incidence of breast and ovarian cancer, have been outlined also as important risk factors for prostate cancer; the hereditary prostate cancer 1 (HPC1) gene also appears to significantly predispose men to prostate cancer when it is inherited in a mutated form; and then there are also a load of others too that look as guilty as sin. That notwithstanding, there isn’t one single gene that is declared to be responsible for the disease.

As for the gene therapy prostate cancer information or even gene therapy treatment or research, see the other articles that are specifically written around this.

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