Prostate cancer refers a disease which is characterized by formation of malignant cancerous cells inside the prostate. It is one of the most common cancers in men being only second to skin cancer (Pestell & Nevalainen, 2008). The prostate is a gland that is found in men only and it is located below the urinary bladder. This gland is responsible for producing fluid that forms part of semen. Since the prostate gland is found exclusively in men, prostate cancer only affects men. The disease appears to mostly affect older men.
The cancerous cells in the prostate divide uncontrollably leading to the enlargement of the prostate gland which puts pressure on the urinary bladder and may block the urethra (Pestell & Nevalainen, 2008). This leads to characteristic signs and symptoms which include frequent urination, difficult urination, and blood in the urine (Pestell & Nevalainen, 2008). There are several tests that are done to diagnose prostate cancer. After its diagnosis the disease is staged after which a treatment plan is prepared.
A lot of research has been done regarding prostate cancer in an effort to determine how it develops and the best treatment options. This is because all the treatment options that are available for this disease have their risks as well as their benefits. Following extensive research, more about the disease has been discovered and the following are some of the recent developments on prostate cancer. Studies on the causes of prostate cancer have led scientists to associate prostate cancer with chromosome 8. Researchers have identified points on chromosome 8 which increase the risk for developing prostate cancer.
On chromosome 8 is a region which is referred to as 8q24 which contains three locations which independently increase risk for prostate cancer (Yeager, 2008). One of these locations seems to be specific to given populations. One of the studies have shown that there are at least two points on region 8q24 of chromosome 8 that makes men of European origin susceptible to development of prostate cancer (Yeager, 2008). Further research on this region has shown that the DNA region between these two independent points on 8q24 region is very susceptible to genetic recombination (Yeager, 2008).
This genetic recombination could be the cause of prostate cancer. In a bid to determine the cause of prostate cancer, scientists have named calcium as a probable culprit. According to results that were recently published in Cancer Research Journal, consumption of calcium from non-dairy sources such as vegetables and grains increases the risk of prostate cancer among Chinese men (Butler, Wong, & Koh, 2010). These non-dairy foods are very rich in calcium. However, the calcium levels consumed do not have to necessarily be high; even low calcium levels predispose Chinese men to development of prostate cancer.
In the research, participants with varying sources of dietary calcium were used and the results showed that there was increased risk of prostate cancer among those who consumed a lot of calcium per day (Butler, Wong, & Koh, 2010). However, the researchers involved in this research were quick to point out that the risk for prostate cancer was not associated with any specific food (Butler, Wong, & Koh, 2010). They however found out that for men with BMI (Body Mass Index) that is below average, the risk for developing prostate cancer is increased twofold (Butler, Wong, & Koh, 2010).
Further studies on prostate cancer have shown that proper diet is the best way to prevent prostate cancer. According to a publication in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, a diet that has low levels of red meat and fats and high levels of vegetables and fruits is very helpful in prevention as well as treatment of cancer (Ma & Chapman, 2009). In this research, it was discovered that the risk of prostate cancer was lowered with consumption of cauliflower, green tea, tomatoes, broccoli as well as selenium and vitamin E (Ma & Chapman, 2009).
On the other hand, the risk for prostate cancer was increased with consumption of foods that are high in fats, dairy products, and highly processed meats (Ma & Chapman, 2009). Following the results of this study, men are advised to modify their diets to lower their risk for prostate cancer. In addition, the researchers say that dietary modification is particularly useful for those men who have already been diagnosed with prostate cancer as it gives the patients a chance to actively participate in the treatment program (Ma & Chapman, 2009).