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Family History and Cancer Link

Family History and Cancer Link

Posted on: 20 Oct 2023

Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer awareness ribbons with mane and woman silhouettes.

October is both Family History Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Something many people may not know is that if you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, your doctor may ask about your family history of breast or ovarian cancer.

Why? Well, a family history of breast cancer is linked with a higher risk of prostate cancer. While many cases of prostate cancer and breast cancer are not linked to inherited genetic mutations, some people do have an inherited mutation in a gene that causes prostate cancer. These genes include BRCA1 and BRCA2. Mutations in these genes also raise the risk of getting breast, ovarian or pancreatic cancer. Men with one of these mutations may be at a higher risk of a more aggressive, deadly form of prostate cancer. A family history of colon cancer may also be linked to a higher risk of prostate cancer.

So this month, talk to your family to learn more about your risk for cancer. Knowing your family history of cancer can help guide treatment. To read more about family history, cancer and treatment, check out this issue of our online patient magazine, UrologyHealth extra®

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