Harvard Men's Health Watch

Genetic screening for prostate cancer

Genes regulate the growth, multiplication, and death of all human cells. Cancer develops when cell growth escapes from the normal control that holds it in check. In a fundamental sense, then, all cancers depend on genetic abnormalities.

In some cases, abnormal genes are passed down from parent to child. In others, problems develop after birth as a result of environmental influences, including nutritional imbalances and exposure to tobacco, radiation, and toxins.

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