Breast cancer gene affects men’s risk of prostate cancer

Men carrying a mutation in the BRCA2 gene (a gene linked to a high risk of breast and other cancers) are more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer and to have poorer survival.

A recent study of men with prostate cancer has shown a 4.5 fold increased risk of prostate cancer-related death compared with men in breast cancer-prone families who do not carry the mutation.

The study shows that even men who do not carry the mutation themselves, but are part of a breast cancer-prone family where some members carry a BRCA2 mutation, are at higher risk of aggressive prostate cancer and poorer survival than the general population.

This study confirms and extends findings from previous research. It is important that men and their doctors take this information into account when discussing PSA testing for prostate cancer risk and when deciding on treatments after a diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Read more at Cancer Prevention Research