Your prostate cancer risk is at 48% if men in your family have it

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New study shows the importance of family history in the risk of developing prostate cancer
New research has released details on how a family history of prostate cancer is linked to a man’s likelihood of being diagnosed with the disease.

Although it is already known that men with prostate cancer in the family have a higher risk of the cancer themselves, this marks the first time ever that researchers have estimated the risk of developing various types of prostate cancer for men with the disease in the family.

Researchers at Umea University and Lund University analysed the prostate cancer risk in 51,897 men in Sweden taking part in Prostate Cancer data Base Sweden (PCBaSe) whose brothers and fathers already had prostate cancer.

They found that men who had one brother with prostate cancer had a 30% risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer themselves before the age of 75, compared with a 13% risk among men without a family history of the disease, and a 9% risk of developing an aggressive form compared with 5% among other men.

The risk was further increased when men had both a father and a brother with prostate cancer, increasing to a 48% risk of any form of prostate cancer, compared with 13% among other men, and a 14% risk of developing an aggressive form of the cancer, compared with 5% among other men.

And although researchers expected a mild cancer in the family to reduce a man’s risk of developing an aggressive form this was not the case, with the team surprised to find that it didn’t matter whether fathers or brothers had a mild or aggressive prostate cancer, both still increased a man’s risk of developing an aggressive form of the disease.

Commenting on the significance of the results, Stattin explained, “Prostate cancer is often a rather indolent disease with favourable prognosis that often doesn’t require treatment but there are also aggressive types that can be mortal. The ability to differ between these types is therefore important. Up until now, there has been no knowledge about the absolute magnitudes of these risks.”

US National Guidelines state that men with a father, brother or son with prostate cancer should start cancer screenings at age 45, and those with more than one first-degree relative with prostate cancer at age 40.

Source: AFP Relaxnews

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