Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prostate cancer: Risk increases with the number of affected family members

Date:
April 25, 2010
Source:
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Summary:
The risk of getting prostate cancer increases with the number of directly related family members who are affected by the disease. Scientists in Germany have now calculated the age-specific individual risks in the largest study ever made on familial prostate cancer.

For a long time now doctors have known that prostate cancer "runs in the family." Men with family members who have been diagnosed with the disease have an elevated risk of developing cancer of the prostate. But exactly how high is an individual person's risk? For whom and at what age should an early detection screening urgently be recommended?

Researchers of the department headed by Kari Hemminki at DKFZ have analyzed these questions in the largest study ever published on familial prostate cancer. The study included 26,651 prostate cancer patients, 5,623 of whom came from families in which the disease had been diagnosed before.

The more of a man's direct relatives, i.e. brothers and fathers, are affected, the higher is his personal risk to develop prostate cancer himself. Thus, the researchers calculated that men up to an age of 65 years with three affected brothers have a risk that is 23 times higher than that of the control group (men without affected family members). Men aged between 65 and 74 years, whose father was or is the only one affected, have a risk that is increased by 1.8 times and, thus, the lowest risk elevation in the familial cancer group. The DKFZ researchers recognized a general tendency that the personal risk is the higher, the younger affected relatives were at the time of diagnosis.

Elevated familial cancer risks are often doubted. Critics argue that results tend to be distorted because relatives of affected persons are alarmed and have early detection exams more often than the rest of the population. For this reason, the argument runs, they are more frequently overdiagnosed, because even tumors are found that might never have caused any symptoms during their lifetime. In order to refute this criticism, the DKFZ researchers also investigated the prostate cancer mortality in relation to the number of affected family members. They arrived at the same risk distribution as for newly diagnosed cases: The more direct relatives are affected, the higher is a person's risk of dying from prostate cancer. Thus, the scientists have proved that the risk increase is real and not just due to more frequent early detection examinations.

"Our results provide a good guidance for doctors. If a man has several affected relatives who may even have been diagnosed at a young age, then his personal risk is substantially increased. In this case, a family doctor should urgently recommend having an early detection examination," said study head Kari Hemminki.

The study is based on data of the Swedish National Family Cancer Database which contains data on 11.8 million individuals and every single one of over one million cancer cases that occurred between the years of 1958 and 2006. Since the cancer database is linked with a multiple-generation register, it is possible to track cancer cases among parents and siblings of patients.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andreas Brandt, Justo Lorenzo Bermejo, Jan Sundquist, Kari Hemminki. Age-Specific Risk of Incident Prostate Cancer and Risk of Death from Prostate Cancer Defined by the Number of Affected Family Members. European Urology, 2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.eururo.2010.02.002

Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "Prostate cancer: Risk increases with the number of affected family members." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100423113724.htm>.
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. (2010, April 25). Prostate cancer: Risk increases with the number of affected family members. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100423113724.htm
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "Prostate cancer: Risk increases with the number of affected family members." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100423113724.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins