What is a hereditary prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men. Unfortunately, 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, with 75% being diagnosed over the age of 65. This means that men have a 12.5% lifetime risk of prostate cancer. The majority of prostate cancer occurs by chance however approximately 5-9% of prostate cancer is estimated to be hereditary. Prostate cancer is very common in older men, is frequently slow growing and even untreated would often not shorten a man’s life. However, in some men prostate cancer is more aggressive and develops faster, in these situations early diagnosis and treatment will save lives. In some families, with hereditary prostate cancer, it may be possible to find the genetic change (mutation) which is responsible for the cancers thereby allowing appropriate cancer screening. In general, men with 1 first degree relative (father or brother) have twice the risk of prostate cancer, while men with 2 first degree relatives have 5 times the risk compared to the general population.