Testing of Brothers May Boost Family's Prostate Cancer
THURSDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Men who have a brother
with prostate cancer are more likely than other men to be diagnosed
with the disease, but the reason may have more to do with greater
surveillance than genetics, a new study suggests.
Swedish researchers analyzed data from 22,511 brothers of 13,975
prostate cancer patients and found that the incidence of the
disease was higher among brothers of prostate cancer patients than
men of the same age in the general population. Disease incidence
was highest among men who had two brothers with prostate
However, the study found that early-stage disease was the type
most often diagnosed in brothers of prostate cancer patients. This
stage of prostate cancer is typically detected through a prostate
specific antigen (PSA) test and may or may not be clinically
relevant, the study authors explained in the report published
online Aug. 19 in the
Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
The researchers also found that the incidence of prostate cancer
among brothers of prostate cancer patients was highest during the
first year after the first brother's diagnosis.
"The increased diagnostic activity among men with a family history of prostate cancer, which we observed, will inflate family history as a risk factor for prostate cancer in populations of men who commonly receive PSA testing," concluded Dr. Ola Bratt, of the urology department at the Helsinborg Hospital in Sweden, and colleagues.
The study results could offer guidance to doctors, the authors
"When counseling men about their risk of hereditary predisposition to prostate cancer, one should consider the possibility that a familial aggregation of prostate cancer may be at least partially caused by increased diagnostic activity," Bratt and colleagues wrote.
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