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Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate gland The prostate is part of the male reproductive system This gland is locates inside the body at the base of the penis just below the bladder and in front of the rectum It is composed of the glandular and ibrous tissue enclosed in a capsule of connective tissue The prostate is in the shape of a donut and about the size of a walnut It surrounds the first inch or so of the urethra the tube that carries urine from the bladder Normal functions of the pro ate depend on the presence of the male hormone testosterone which is produced by the testes The prostate produces semen the thick whitish fluid that carries sperm Cancer of the prostate has become the number one cancer in American men In the United States approximately 1 in every 11 men will develop prostate cancer during his lifetime Prostate cancer becomes increasingly common with each decade of life Over percent of all cases are diagnosed in men over 65 The incidence of prostate cancer increased 47 percent from 1973 to 1987 about a 26 percent increase each year It is estimated that 10600 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed in the US during the 1990 Black men in the US have the highest inc ence of prostate cancer in the world Little is known about the cause of prostate cancer and it is seldom possible to explain why a man has developed this disease Scientists believe that cancer of the prostate develops over a period of many years as a result of gradual changes in the cel No single theory explains the development of this disease but a number of possible causes have been suggested Investigations have focused on four general areas genetic predisposition heredity hormonal influences environmental and lifestyle fac rs and sexually transmitted agents including viruses Data from population studies have
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