Genetic Predisposition Testing for Prostate Cancer

The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system and its role is to produce an important buffering constituent of semen. A buffer is a chemical that balances out the PH, neutralizing the acidity caused by urine passage in the tracts – this acidity would kill the sperm cells.

About Prostate Cancer

In terms of size, the gland is no bigger than a walnut when healthy and is located just under the bladder. In older males, enlargement of the prostate is not unusual and is referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH); this enlargement is not in any way prostate cancer.

More than 65% of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in males over 65 years of age.

A malignant, uncontrolled growth of cells on the prostate gland is referred to as prostate cancer. Sometimes, benign growths do result on the prostate gland but these are not considered dangerous and are more easily removed.

How do I know if I have prostate cancer

There are many symptoms associated with prostate cancer including frequent urination or the feeling of needing to urinate frequently or even urge to urinate but considerable delay in actually peeing. If a doctor suspects swollen or enlarged prostate he or she may carry out a physical examination by inserting a finger into the anus and the rectal tract to determine whether or not there is any enlargement.

How would I know if I have cancer?

The problem with prostate cancer is that often many doctors are too quick to operate, even if there is only a benign tumor (to be noted that benign tumors do not grow as quickly as malignant tumors and often, people can live entirely unaffected by the growth).

A PSA test may have to be carried out to determine the levels of what is known as Prostate Specific Antigen. High levels of PSA would strongly indicate prostate cancer. A more thorough confirmation of cancer can be done by taking a prostate biopsy.

Lifestyle factors – How can my genetic predisposition test help me?

There are many factors in your lifestyle that can precipitate the illness and increase your chances of developing it. If you do find you have a high genetic predisposition to the disease, there are some aspects of your life you may want to monitor and alter.

  • Inactive people who do not undertake any form of exercise and lead a sedentary life style are more likely to develop prostate cancer.
  • High calcium intake associated with many dairy products could lead to prostate cancer.
  • African-American race/decent
  • High fat and meat consumption
  • Obesity and being over weight

There are several support groups and websites providing information and assistance for people with this type of disease such as prostate cancer .

Genetics and hereditary aspects of the disease

Prostate cancer runs in families and males that have any direct male relatives, such as a sibling or a father, who has suffered from the disease have a significantly elevated chance of developing the disease. The risk for these people is in fact twice as high. The genes that have been blamed for prostate cancer are the same ones as those that are responsible for breast cancer, mainly the Breast Cancer Gene 2 (breast cancer type 2 susceptibility protein) often abbreviated as BRCA2. Studies to confirm the hereditary genetic aspect of the disease have focused on genetic studies and DNA testing of identical twins in order to examine the incidence rate of the disease.

A DNA test can help you know just how likely it is that you will develop prostate cancer when compared to other people in your same ethnic group. A genetic health test will tell you whether you have a high genetic predisposition, average or low genetic predisposition to prostate cancer.