The Etiology of Prostate Cancer

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Keng Lim Ng, MBBS, PHD, FRCS


While the exact etiology of prostate cancer remains elusive, various modifiable and unmodifiable risk factors have been suggested as contributing factors. These include age, ethnicity, family history, genetics, obesity, diet, hormones, smoking, alcohol, and certain medications; however, none of these, perhaps with the exception of ethnicity and age, has been conclusively proven to be a definite etiological factor for prostate cancer. Men of black African ancestry are more prone to the disease. The probability of developing prostate cancer increases with age, from 0.005% in men younger than 39 years of age to 2.2% in men between 40 and 59 years, and 13.7% in men between 60 and 79 years. A better understanding of the environmental, genetic, nutritional, hormonal, and molecular landscape that shape the etiology and pathophysiology of prostate cancer will lead to better preventative strategies, enhanced diagnostic pathways, and improved management of the disease. This chapter provides an overview of the current understanding of the etiology of prostate cancer.


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Chapter 2