My small intestine epithelium cells are replaced thousands times more than my prostate. Yet I'm much more likely of getting a prostate cancer than cancer on my intestine epithelium. Is there a known cause for this?

Does our body have better DNA-repairing mechanisms or something like that for those tissues ?

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    $\begingroup$ Just a quick thought: These cells have a relative short livespan and thus less chances to develop into cancer cells. This would be different for the prostate for example. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Oct 21, 2016 at 7:43
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting question! @Chris has a good point. I think the relevant factor is how often a long-lived stem cell (or similar) would divide in these two tissues. Is prostate less proliferative than small intestine in this regard? Also, some cell types maintain a more differentiated state while proliferating (hepatocytes in regenerating liver, for example) and this could be a factor I think. Just some suggestions. $\endgroup$
    – Roland
    Oct 21, 2016 at 8:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Roland There are stem cells present in the small intestine, which clearly play a role in regenerating the tissue. I can look up some references for this later. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Oct 21, 2016 at 9:12

1 Answer 1


The human prostate has two main epithelial cell types, basal and luminal, as well as a minor population of neuroendocrine cells. Primary prostate cancer nearly always has a luminal phenotype characterized by atypical glands, strong androgen receptor (AR) signaling, and an absence of basal cells . Intestinal epithelium. The intestinal epithelium is the single cell layer that form the luminal surface (lining) of both the small and large intestine (colon) of the gastrointestinal tract.

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    $\begingroup$ Hi malay and welcome to Biology.SE. Your answer has unfortunately two flaws, while it highlights the difference between the 2 tissue it does not address why one would be more likely to develop cancer (the original question). Moreover it lacks of references. References are really important to verify the source reliability. $\endgroup$
    – have fun
    Oct 2, 2018 at 17:27

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