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Genetics of Prostate Cancer (PDQ®): Genetics - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Introduction

Table 1. Relative Risk (RR) Related to Family History of Prostate Cancera continued...

The risk of prostate cancer may also increase in men who have a family history of breast cancer. Approximately 9.6% of the Iowa cohort had a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer in a mother or sister at baseline, and this was positively associated with prostate cancer risk (age-adjusted RR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.0–3.0; multivariate RR, 1.7; 95% CI, 0.9–3.2). Men with a family history of both prostate and breast/ovarian cancer were also at increased risk of prostate cancer (RR, 5.8; 95% CI, 2.4–14.0).[19] Other studies, however, did not find an association between family history of female breast cancer and risk of prostate cancer.[19,24] A family history of prostate cancer also increases the risk of breast cancer among female relatives.[25] The association between prostate cancer and breast cancer in the same family may be explained, in part, by the increased risk of prostate cancer among men with BRCA1/BRCA2mutations in the setting of hereditary breast/ovarian cancer or early-onset prostate cancer.[26,27,28,29] (Refer to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 section of this summary for more information.)

Family history has been shown to be a risk factor for men of different races and ethnicities. In a population-based case-control study of prostate cancer among African Americans, whites, and Asian Americans in the United States (Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Hawaii) and Canada (Vancouver and Toronto),[30] 5% of controls and 13% of all cases reported a father, brother, or son with prostate cancer. These prevalence estimates were somewhat lower among Asian Americans than among African Americans or whites. A positive family history was associated with a twofold to threefold increase in RR in each of the three ethnic groups. The overall odds ratio associated with a family history of prostate cancer was 2.5 (95% CI, 1.9–3.3) with adjustment for age and ethnicity.[30]

Evidence for inherited forms of prostate cancer can be found in several U.S. and international studies.[12,16,31,32,33,34] It was first noted in 1956 that men with prostate cancer reported a higher frequency of the disease among relatives than did controls.[35] Shortly thereafter, it was reported that deaths from prostate cancer were increased among fathers and brothers of men who died of prostate cancer, versus controls who died of other causes.[36]

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