Prostate cancer is the most common malignancy found in males; however, little is as yet known regarding what initiates the disease. The incidence is highest among American Blacks and lowest in the East Asian population. Subtypes of the disease include familial clustering and a hereditary form (9%) supporting genetic events to be involved in prostate cancer pathogenesis. Chromosomal abberations so far identified as being frequently occurring in this disease seem to be related to later phases of disease progression. However, research finding the responsible promoting genetic alteration is rapidly progressing. To explain the varied geographical distribution of the disease, the environment also has to be taken into account. Risk factors identified so far include obesity, animal fat, red meat consumption and certain toxins containing cadmium, while vegetables, cereals and vitamin D seem to be protective. It is reasonable to believe that, in the near future, we will be able to identify persons at risk of acquiring the disease and then inform them how to adjust their lifestyle to avoid early progression of the malignancy.

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