This might make for uncomfortable reading for men. Prostates (growing cells shown) lack the glamour of other body parts and few men want to know much about them, until it's too late. Prostate cancer – the commonest cancer in males – isn't just an old man's disease. The number of young men it's striking has risen six-fold since the 1990s, and worse still, it's very aggressive, giving away few signs before metastasising. Embarrassment, and a lack of awareness cost lives. Although it's unclear why the disease is affecting so many more young people, known risk factors include heredity, stress, and in a striking parallel with breast cancer in women, insomnia. Pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, and chemicals awash in our foods, gardens, and bathrooms are suspected culprits although their effects remain understudied. Other risk factors include processed foods, too much red meat and dairy, and obesity.
Written by Tristan Farrow
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.