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Family History Of Prostate Cancer

Screening For Prostate Cancer

Survivor’s Message: ‘Get Checked Early’ With A Family History of Prostate Cancer

Since a mans primary risk factors age, family history, and ethnicity cannot be altered, screening for prostate cancer is often touted to manage the disease before it reaches advanced stages.

Screening for prostate cancer is not standard practice, though. The decision to be screened is made individually by a man and his doctor, based on risk factors.

There are a few methods for screening for prostate cancer:

  • Digital rectal exam. A doctor physically examines the prostate for changes or lumps.
  • Prostate-specific antigen blood test. PSA levels could be elevated due to prostate cancer, but an enlarged or inflamed prostate may also lead to high PSA levels even when no cancer is present.
  • 4Kscore test. New blood test that accurately identifies the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. It plays an essential clinical role as a reflex test before proceeding with initial prostate biopsy in men with an elevated PSA level or abnormal digital rectal examination results.

If either of these tests shows cause for concern, further tests are necessary to diagnose prostate cancer, such as an ultrasound, an MRI, or a biopsy.

A 4Kscore test is a new blood test that determines the risk of high-grade prostate cancer. It is often employed following an abnormal digital rectal examination and before a biopsy. Similarly, your doctor may order a Prostate Health Index , a Food and Drug Administration-approved blood test thats a recommended approach to reducing biopsies.

Female Family Members With A History Of Breast Cancer

Most women diagnosed with breast cancer dont have a family history of the disease.

About 13-16 percent of women diagnosed have a first-degree female relative with breast cancer .

A woman who has a first-degree female relative with breast cancer has about twice the risk of a woman without this family history . If she has more than one first-degree female relative with a history of breast cancer, her risk is about 2-4 times higher .

What Extra Steps Should I Take If I Have A Family History Of Prostate Cancer

Filed in Testing & Diagnosis

Risk factors for prostate can be divided into genetic and environmental. Although you cant change the genes that you were born with, its important that if you have a family history of prostate cancer you understand that your risk of getting prostate cancer is 2-3x higher if you have a first-degree relative with this diagnosis and that the risk increases above the baseline risk of 10% of the population with each affected relative.

Whether a family history of breast cancer increases the risk of the males in that family getting prostate cancer and vice vera is still debated but in families with multiple members having breast and prostate cancer genetic testing is necessary to investigate whether the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations exist, which significantly increase the risk of developing breast, prostate, pancreas and ovarian cancers, amongst others .

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Is Prostate Cancer Genetically Inherited

Prostate cancer is one of the most heritable cancers. Your risk of developing prostate cancer is higher if a family member has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The heritable risk for prostate cancer, and most cancers in general, goes beyond just those family members who had prostate cancer. For instance, you can inherit your prostate cancer risk from female family members with breast cancer

Research has established the link between the BRCA gene and the increased chance of developing prostate cancer. Men who carry the BRCA 2 gene have an increased lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer

A genetic test is required to confirm the presence of the BRCA genes. However, a family history of breast or ovarian cancer is an indicator that family members could carry the BRCA genes. For example, a family history of breast cancer could mean you inherited the BRCA 2 gene and thus have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.

Importantly, the BRCA genes can be inherited from both sides of the family. Men are carriers of the altered gene, so you may have inherited the gene from your father.

The seriousness of this risk is well understood. Recent updates to the Prostate MRI Medicare Rebate in Australia subsidise men with a suspected BRCA gene due to assumed increased risk.

The lesson from this is to understand your familyâs complete history on both sides of the family.

Definitions Of Cancer Risk Categories

Am I At Risk Of Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer diagnosed among brothers of index cases was categorized as low risk , nonlow risk , or high risk . Most prostate cancers among fathers of the index persons were diagnosed before 1998 and were thus not registered in the NPCR of Sweden. Therefore, the severity of their cancers was categorized as low risk, nonlethal, or lethal. Low risk was defined as prostate cancer diagnosed before the age of 75 years in men who lived at least 10 years after their diagnosis, nonlethal cancer as any prostate cancer diagnosed in a father who did not die from prostate cancer , and lethal cancer was any prostate cancer diagnosed in a father who died from prostate cancer during the time of follow-up.

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Prostate Cancer Family History The Ultimate Guide

A prostate cancer family history is an important risk factor in determining someoneâs risk of developing the disease. Having a family history of prostate cancer can increase menâs chance of developing prostate cancer to at least a 1 in 3 chance. However, most people underestimate the impact and role of family history when managing their own risk .

In this guide, we will present all the facts on a prostate cancer family history. We have scoured the literature and consulted with some of the leading experts in the field to bring you all the answers. In this guide, we answer the following questions.

1.What is a family history of cancer?

2.What is the chance of developing prostate cancer with a family history?

3.How do you determine if you have a family history of prostate cancer?

4.What to do if you do have a family history of prostate cancer?

It is important to note that the information given in this article should not be used or relied upon as a substitute for a doctorâs advice and instructions. If you are looking to discuss your situation with a doctor who specialises in managing prostate cancer, our clinicians are ready to help. You can request a tele-consult with our clinicians by creating a secure account or by filling out our contact form.

Who Is At Risk For Prostate Cancer

All men are at risk for prostate cancer, but African-American men are more likely to get prostate cancer than other men.

All men are at risk for prostate cancer. Out of every 100 American men, about 13 will get prostate cancer during their lifetime, and about 2 to 3 men will die from prostate cancer.

The most common risk factor is age. The older a man is, the greater the chance of getting prostate cancer.

Some men are at increased risk for prostate cancer. You are at increased risk for getting or dying from prostate cancer if you are African-American or have a family history of prostate cancer.

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Inherited Risk Of Prostate Cancer

Over past decades, scientists have learned that some prostate cancer that runs in families is hereditary. In these cases, mutations in genes that raise the risk of prostate cancer occur in every cell of the body and are passed on from either a mother or father to a child, said Elias Obeid, MD, MPH, medical oncologist and director of the Prostate Risk Assessment Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

These inherited alterations in genes may be responsible for up to 10 percent of all prostate cancers, according to the American Cancer Society, and often occur in genes that repair damage to DNA, including BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

Mutations in these two genes are best known for causing breast and ovarian cancer in women. But they also raise prostate cancer risk in men who inherit them, especially faulty BRCA2 genes, which are tied to aggressive prostate cancer, Obeid said.

Other genes that can cause prostate cancer through mutations include those related to DNA repair, such as CHEK2 and ATMHOXB13, which is related to the development of the prostate gland and the genes tied to a disease called Lynch syndrome.

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Inflammation Of The Prostate

Prostate Cancer Family History – Penn State Cancer Institute 4C

Some studies have suggested that prostatitis may be linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer, but other studies have not found such a link. Inflammation is often seen in samples of prostate tissue that also contain cancer. The link between the two is not yet clear, and this is an active area of research.

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Breast Cancer Screening For Women With A Strong Family History Of Breast Or Ovarian Cancer

There are special breast cancer screening guidelines for women with a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer.

If you have a greater than 20 percent lifetime risk of breast cancer based mainly on your family history of breast or ovarian cancer, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommends you get a :

  • Clinical breast exam every 6-12 months, but not before age 21
  • Mammogram every year, starting at age 40 or starting 10 years younger than the youngest breast cancer case in your family
  • Breast MRI every year, starting at age 40 or starting 10 years younger than the youngest breast cancer case in your family

Learn more about breast cancer screening recommendations for women at higher risk.

Age Of Family Member At Breast Cancer Diagnosis

In general, the younger the relative was when she was diagnosed, the greater a womans chance of getting breast cancer .

For example, a woman whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer before age 40 has about twice the risk of a woman without this family history . For a woman whose mother was diagnosed at an older age, the increase in risk isnt as high.

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Sensitivity Analysis: Psa Screened Population

Of the full cohort, 21,886 participants reported prior PSA testing on the 1996 questionnaire. These men were included in a sensitivity analysis to further assess whether PSA screening influenced our results. During 149,186 person-years of follow-up, 2,860 total and 216 lethal cases were diagnosed. The associations between familial breast or prostate cancer and prostate cancer risk were quite similar to the full cohort analysis . If anything, the association between a positive family history of both breast and prostate cancer and lethal disease was stronger .

How Can I Encourage My Brothers Cousins And Friends To Get Tested For Prostate Cancer

Dutasteride and Prostate Cancer Risk: Does Family History of Prostate ...

It is essential to ensure your male family members are getting tested for two reasons.

  • For their health. Early detection gives them the best chance of survival.
  • For complete knowledge of your risk. If a brother is diagnosed with prostate cancer, this changes your risk. With such a diagnosis, your risk increases drastically from 2.0x to 5.0x the average.
  • Please encourage them to seek professional advice. Maxwell Plus is available to help them. We handle all reminders, and we will even co-sponsor their testing if they cannot afford the service. If you would like to refer your family members to us you can read this article on how to refer your friends and family to Maxwell Plus.

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    When Prostate Cancer Risk Is All In The Family

    Your familial risk of prostate cancer is greatest if you have a first-degree relative who had the disease, especially if they were diagnosed at a relatively young age. Having multiple first degree relatives with prostate cancer also increases risk. Having multiple second-degree relatives and third-degree relatives adds to the risk, Carroll explains. Its more concerning when we see all cancers on one side of the family, in one blood line, she adds.

    In one study, researchers found that men with a brother who had prostate cancer were more than twice as likely as men in the general population to be diagnosed with the disease themselves, and they faced nearly twice the risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer by age 75. Also, men with both a father and brother who had prostate cancer faced about a threefold greater risk of prostate cancer and developing aggressive disease by age 75 compared with the general population.

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    Why Is It Important For Men With A Family History To Be Tested For Genetic Mutations

    Morgan: Morgan: Primary care doctors are no longer consistently recommending routine prostate cancer screening to their patients, which seems to be sending the message that men dont need to worry about prostate cancer.

    The reality is that prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in men in the United States. Men who have inherited mutations are much more likely to have aggressive prostate cancer. We know that treatment of aggressive prostate cancer works and prevents death and suffering from prostate cancer. Thats what this is about more than anything else: preventing death and suffering from prostate cancer.

    Learn more about genetic testing and prostate cancer

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    Family History Of Prostate And Breast Cancer And The Risk Of Prostate Cancer In The Psa Era

    Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

    Research Center for Genes, Environment, and Human Health, Graduate Institute of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

    Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

    Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts

    Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts

    Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

    Research Center for Genes, Environment, and Human Health, Graduate Institute of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

    Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

    Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts

    Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts

    People With Limited Information On Family Medical History

    I have a family history of prostate cancer. Should my son have a genetic test?

    You may not know your family medical history.

    Risk assessment tools such as the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool can estimate your breast cancer risk without this information. However, it will be less accurate without your family history details.

    Talking with your health care provider about other risk factors for breast cancer can help you learn about your risk, even if you dont have information on your family medical history.

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    Prostate Cancer Risk Factors

    A risk factor is anything that raises your risk of getting a disease such as cancer. Different cancers have different risk factors. Some risk factors, like smoking, can be changed. Others, like a persons age or family history, cant be changed.

    But having a risk factor, or even several, does not mean that you will get the disease. Many people with one or more risk factors never get cancer, while others who get cancer may have had few or no known risk factors.

    Researchers have found several factors that might affect a mans risk of getting prostate cancer.

    Could You Have A Faulty Gene

    Red flags that you may have inherited a gene that raises prostate cancer risk include:

    • Multiple family members diagnosed with prostate cancer, especially before age 55.
    • A family history of prostate cancer coupled with breast, ovarian, colon, or pancreatic cancer.

    A simple blood test can help determine if you carry a worrisome gene. So be sure to share your familys cancer history with your doctor, Obeid advised. If appropriate, your doctor can refer you to a genetic counselor to help you decide if testing is right for you and to help you understand the results.

    If genetic testing does reveal that you have an inherited risk of prostate cancer, early screening with a digital rectal exam and PSA blood tests could help doctors find any prostate cancer that develops and, if cancer is ever suspected, your doctor may recommend that a biopsy be performed. For men with an increased genetic risk for prostate cancer, biopsies may be recommended at a lower PSA level than usually is for those with no inherited risk.

    Your family members might also want to consider genetic testing because they may have inherited the same abnormal gene.

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    When Should Screening Start For Men With A Family History Of Prostate Cancer

    A nationwide study in Sweden estimates the elevated risk of advanced or fatal prostate cancer among relatives of men with the disease, providing new data that could help refine guidelines for the age at which screening should begin.

    Mahdi Fallah and Elham Kharazmi of the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany, and colleagues present these new findings in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine.

    Clinical guidelines for the age to start prostate cancer screening aim to ensure that the benefits of identifying the disease early outweigh the risks of diagnosing and treating cancer that will not harm the patient.

    Current guidelines note that men with a family history of prostate cancer have a greater risk and should begin screening early.

    However, due to lack of sufficient data, the age at which early screening should begin has been unclear.

    To address this problem, Fallah and colleagues conducted an analysis of all male residents of Sweden born after 1931, as well as their fathers. Between 1958 to 2015, 88,999 out of a total of 6,343,727 men were diagnosed with advanced stage prostate cancer, or died from the disease.

    The researchers used these data to calculate the age at which men who had a father, brother, or son diagnosed with prostate cancer reached the “screening risk threshold ” i.e., the same level of prostate cancer risk as at the age of 50 years across the entire population.

    These findings could lead to greater personalisation of screening guidelines.

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