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prostate cancer

Introduction

prostate cancer, cancer originating in the prostate gland. Prostate cancer is one of the most malignancies in men in the United States, second only to skin cancer, and as a cause of cancer death in men is second only to lung cancer. It occurs predominantly in older men; the median age at diagnosis is 72 years. Black men have a higher incidence than white men. The cause of prostate cancer is unknown, but the incidence varies markedly by geographic region, an indication that there are environmental factors that may trigger the disease. For example, men in China and Japan have a low rate of prostate cancer, but the incidence rises in Chinese and Japanese men who move to the United States. The hormone testosterone is believed to have a role in the development of prostate cancer, and studies have shown a relationship between high dietary fat intake and increased testosterone levels. Prostate tumors are often slow growing. Around 95% are classified as adenocarcinomas (arising from epithelial glandular tissue). The most common site of metastasis is the bone, and bone metastasis is the leading cause of death from prostate cancer.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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