March 16, 2009 -- Question: What is known about the causes of prostate cancer?
Answer: It first of all seems like a simple question, but it has a very complex answer. At the simple level, it's an abnormal growth of the prostate. Unfortunately, we don't know what causes it or what really it is, but we do know that it seems to be sort of a side effect of aging. That is, as men age, their risk for prostate cancer increases significantly.
As our population ages, as it is now, almost at the rate of one year of life expectancy for every four years that we go through, prostate cancer is becoming an even bigger problem. And prostate cancer, I think a good way to look at it, it's a side effect of getting to be old.