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Now, let’s quickly review the anatomy and physiology of the prostate gland. The prostate is a small gland that sits under the bladder and in front of the rectum. It can be divided into four zones. The peripheral zone, which is the outermost posterior section and is the largest of the zones, containing about 70% of the prostate’s glandular tissue. Moving inward, the central zone contains about 25% of the glandular tissue. Then there is the transitional zone, which contains around 5% of the glandular tissue, and lastly is the periurethral zone, surrounding the prostatic urethra.
Now, the prostate gland secretes the prostatic fluid, which is a slightly alkaline, milky fluid that has nutrients that nourish the sperm, enhance its movement, and help it survive in the acidic environment of the vagina. To do that, the prostate cells rely on stimulation from androgens for survival, such as testosterone produced by the testes.
All right, now prostate cancer is typically caused by a genetic mutation in a prostate cell, such as a mutation in breast cancer genes 1 and 2, also known as BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. These mutations may arise from a variety of risk factors. Non-modifiable risk factors include advanced age, having a family history of prostate cancer, as well as being Black. On the other hand, modifiable risk factors include obesity, a diet high in animal fat and low in fiber and vegetables, and long-term exposure to ionizing radiation or certain chemicals, such as benzene and toluene.
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