In developed countries, prostate cancer is the most common malignancy in men and a major cause of cancer-related death (1). In The Netherlands 93 new cases per 100,000 men were detected in 2003 (The Netherlands Cancer Registry). Prostate cancer incidence varies between different ethnic groups. African-American men have the highest incidence rates, followed by Caucasian-American men and men in Western Europe and Australia. The lowest incidence rates are observed in the Asian population. These differences may be explained by environmental and dietary factors. However, genetic factors, i.e. polymorphisms in genes that can predispose to cancer, may also play a role in prostate cancer development. A major risk factor of prostate cancer is age, since it is predominantly a disease of the senior adult (i.e. men over the age of 65 years). Below the age of 55 the incidence of prostate cancer is very low (2, 3).

J. Trapman (Jan)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Hermans, K. (2009, January 28). Unraveling of the major genetic defects in prostate cancer. Retrieved from