It is well-known that harmful variations of BRCA1 and BRCA2 (Breast Cancer genes 1 and 2) are known to increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in women, but did you know they can also increase a man’s risk of prostate cancer?
If you’re doing a double take, stop and re-read that paragraph again.
Plain and simple: BRCA gene variants can be linked to prostate cancer in men too.
Let’s start by answering a few simple questions.
What Are the BRCA Genes?
According to the National Cancer Institute, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes create proteins that help repair damage to DNA. Everyone has two copies – one from mom and one from dad.
They can be called tumor-suppressor genes because when there are certain changes, cancer can grow. Those who inherit harmful variants are at an increased risk of cancer, and they tend to develop cancer at younger ages.
BRCA and Prostate Cancer
Men with BRCA2 mutations are at an increased risk of breast and prostate cancer. The same is true of the BRCA1 variant only to a lesser extent.
In a study of 357 men, British researchers found 5.2% of men with the BRCA2 mutation were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and the cancers were intermediate and high risk. Of men with the BRCA1 mutation 3.4% were diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Based on the study’s findings, the author suggests that men with BRCA2 defects begin PSA screening at 40.
Keep in mind — men and women with variants to BRCA1 and BRCA2 are ALSO at an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, though the risk remains low.
Do You Have the BRCA Variants?
The chance of having the mutations can vary.
In general, one in 400 people have variants, but race and ethnicity may increase your chances.
Genetic testing is available for those that think they may have one of the variants.
The best thing you can do is talk to your doctor of find a genetic counselor. They can also help you find out if genetic testing is covered by your insurance.
If you test positive for a mutation, you are at an increased risk of developing certain cancers, but the test isn’t definitive in telling you when you may develop cancer. Some with the genetic mutations never get cancer at all.
But knowledge is power.
Those with the harmful BRCA1 and BRAC2 variant can pass them along to their children, and there’s a 50% chance a person’s full sibling may have the variant as well.
Knowing you have the variant can help you and your family make decisions on screenings and prevention.
CyberKnife Therapy for Prostate Cancer
If you are a man who develops prostate cancer because of BRCA mutations or for any other reason, the experts at the CyberKnife Center of Miami are here to help.
CyberKnife Miami is the leading prostate cancer treatment center in South Florida. We offer state-of-the art radiation that is non-invasive and leads to fewer side effects, including impotence and incontinence.
While there are different types of radiation for prostate cancer, decades of research proves Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) – the type of radiation used by CyberKnife, is considered one of the best.
Cancer Treatment Miami
The cure rate with CyberKnife for prostate cancer is 97-percent. There are no risks like those that come with surgery like infection and long periods of downtime.
More than 60,000 American men choose radiation therapy to treat prostate cancer annually, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. There is a proven safety record with radiation, and the cure rates are well documented.
If you would like to find out more about prostate cancer treatment with CyberKnife, call us at 305-279-2900 or go to our prostate cancer website now for more information.