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Running head: GENETIC DISEASES

Prostate Cancer: Hereditary and Commonplace

Skyler Clark

Salt Lake City Community College


Genetic Diseases Human Growth and Development PSY 1100 027 Tues, Thurs 4:00 pm 26/1/2013

GENETIC DISEASES

Prostate Cancer: Hereditary and Commonplace

Lets just get this over with Doc. Those are the words heard most often by men undergoing a prostate exam. Men of any age range can theoretically contract Prostate cancer, but occurrences are much more frequent in men over age 50. There are a plethora of factors believed to contribute to Prostate cancer and its development, of which age, race, and diet play key roles ("Wexner Medical", 2009) Prostate cancer is not the first concern when the average male assesses his health, however studies show that 80% of men that died in their 80s had a cancerous prostate gland - in most cases unbeknownst to them and their physicians ("Medical News Today", 2009). In investigating a disease that perhaps a majority of men contract in their lifetimes, we will discover what exactly this disease is, what preventative measures can be taken to avoid the acquisition of said sickness, and map out what methods may be used to combat a slow killer.

Diagnosing prostate cancer is usually done through a rectal exam included in a regular screening by a family doctor. These screenings should be done regularly yearly after the age of 40-50 depending on past familial and racial susceptibility to the disease ("WebMD", 2011). The male prostate is an exocrine gland located in front of the seminal vesicle, and above the bladder. This minute gland excretes prostatic fluid, which contributes to the formation of semen. This substance is essential to the procreation process; a dynamic for conception. Within the prostate, a multitude of small glands secrete the protective fluid that will nourish sperm cells in the hostile environment of the female vagina. Muscle fibers within the prostate also play a role in continuity; these fibers are utilized to control the flow of urine exiting the urethra. In a nutshell, this insignificant walnut sized gland is of high import. Screening for Prostate Cancer is done by

GENETIC DISEASES

analyzing the state of the prostate through the rectal wall. When this small gland has grown to be abnormally large, it is possible to diagnose cancer. ("Medical News Today", 2009). Age is the highest contributing factor in cancerous prostate growth ("WebMD", 2011). The cells develop an aptitude to inaccurately copy themselves as the body ages. The failure of the bodys cells to replicate correctly is caused by various factors, all of which combine over time to degrade the integrity of normal cell growth and routine process. When a cell divides itself incorrectly it renders itself useless to the body, as it will no longer perform the required function (Crosta, 2008). The cells become a mass of tissue called a tumor, and in the case of prostate cancer, often restrict the regular passage of urine through the urethra. This results in many symptoms common to prostate cancer such as incontinence, frequent urination, discomfort, or nocturia (Matthew Schmitz, 2009). In malignant cases, these cell masses will spread and form on other glands, organs or even bones, wearing away at the integrity of the entire human system ("Roots To Fruits"). It is common for organisms to become tired as they age. They then begin to replicate incorrectly or simply become susceptible to bacterium, viruses, and diseases; prostate cancer is one of the common errors made by tired cells. In cases where two or more family members have developed prostate cancer there is also a high likelihood that additional members of that same family will contract prostate cancer themselves. Genetics weakness learned by tired cells will be passed on hereditarily to the offspring of those who have become more susceptible or were already susceptible to prostate cancer. Genetic weaknesses, as well as strengths, are commonly passed from one generation to the next as individuals are strengthened or weakened due to environmental circumstance, proper or improper nourishment, or exposure to harmful substances ("Cancer.net", 2011).

GENETIC DISEASES

. The incidence of prostate cancer is higher among African Americans than in other races. The scientific community is unsure of the reasons for this, but environmental factors such as sun exposure, smoking, exposure to heavy metals, or infectious agents are thought to play a role ("WebMD", 2011). It is also likely that certain races, African Americans being the prime example, have developed a genetic susceptibility rooted in cultural and environmental habits formed over many generations. Weaker genetics caused by constant exposure to the abovementioned substances or diets are passed on hereditarily and inherited in the offspring of that race. Many researchers also suggest that high fat diets and general unhealthy and unbalanced eating habits may also contribute as risk factors. (Staff, 2011) It is probable that the higher incidence of prostate cancer in African Americans, and the lower commonality in Japanese and most other Asiatic races is reflective of diet and lifestyle. The low commonality of prostate cancer in China is likely due to the low fat and high soy diet that is common is Asian countries. This correlation is also well depicted in Figure 1, to the left. As shown, the incidence is much greater in more developed regions where highly processed and refined foods are common. In less-developed countries, the incidence is staggeringly lower; however the mortality rate is relatively high in comparison to more developed lands in the incidence versus mortality ratio, which is likely a result of poorer medical care in those underdeveloped countries. Diets in Asiatic lands where incidence of prostate cancer is lowest contain much more fruits, vegetables,

Figure 1

GENETIC DISEASES

and grains than that of the more developed countries where animal products such as meats, dairy products, and also salts and sugars are consumed in much higher quantities. Research has shown that diet may play the biggest role when it comes to health in general, prostate cancer being no exception ("Globocan", 2008). (*Graph shows the commonality of prostate cancer based on an estimated age standardized rate in the world in 2008.) Contracting prostate cancer is not entirely unavoidable. With regular screening beginning at the appropriate age for each individual male, based on familial or racial history and proper diet, the risks can be greatly lowered ("Cancer Research UK", 2012). Fortunately, more men die of old age before prostate cancer can develop and spread enough to be overly detrimental to health or quality of life. Many men, however, do suffer from the effects prostate cancer can have on the body, and many deaths directly caused by this cancer are reported the world over. It is recommended to be highly aware and careful of the substances taken into the body by consumption or exposure. Abiding these precepts will lower the risk of contracting prostate cancer and many other diseases.

GENETIC DISEASES

Bibliography
"Cancer Research UK". (2012, July 18). Retrieved from Screening for Prostate Cancer: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/type/prostate-cancer/about/screening-forprostate-cancer "Cancer.net". (2011, April). Retrieved from The Genetics of Prostate Cancer: http://www.cancer.net/allabout-cancer/genetics/genetics-prostate-cancer "Globocan". (2008). Retrieved from Cancer Fact Sheet: http://globocan.iarc.fr/factsheets/cancers/prostate.asp "Medical News Today". (2009, May 14). Retrieved from What is Prostate Cancer? What Causes Prostate Cancer?: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/150086.php "Roots To Fruits". (n.d.). Retrieved from What is the whole systems design?: http://rootstofruits.biz/puton-your-systems-thinking-cap-what-is-whole-systems-design "WebMD". (2011, March 01). Retrieved from Prostate Cancer Risk Factors: http://www.webmd.com/prostate-cancer/guide/prostate-cancer-risk-factors "Wexner Medical". (2009). Retrieved from Ohio State University: http://medicalcenter.osu.edu/patientcare/healthcare_services/prostate_health/prostate_cance r/risk_factors_prostate_cancer/Pages/index.aspx Crosta, P. (2008, September). "Medical News Today2". Retrieved from What is Cancer? What Causes Cancer?: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/cancer-oncology/ Matthew Schmitz, M. (2009, Decemeber 31). "About.com Prostate Cancer". Retrieved from Symptoms of Prostate Cancer: http://prostatecancer.about.com/od/symptomsanddiagnosis/a/symptoms.htm Staff, M. C. (2011, September 23). Prostate Cancer Prevention: Ways to Reduce Your Risk. Retrieved from Mayoclinic.com: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/prostate-cancerprevention/MC00027