BRCA2 Mutations Are Not Only Scary For Women. They Talk About The Risk Of A Dangerous Type Of Prostate Cancer

Table of contents:

BRCA2 Mutations Are Not Only Scary For Women. They Talk About The Risk Of A Dangerous Type Of Prostate Cancer
BRCA2 Mutations Are Not Only Scary For Women. They Talk About The Risk Of A Dangerous Type Of Prostate Cancer
Video: BRCA2 Mutations Are Not Only Scary For Women. They Talk About The Risk Of A Dangerous Type Of Prostate Cancer
Video: Understanding BRCA Mutations and Risk 2023, February
Anonim

BRCA2 mutations are not only scary for women. They talk about the risk of a dangerous type of prostate cancer

Scientists at the Cancer Research Institute in London are urging men with a defect in the BRCA2 gene to be regularly screened for aggressive prostate cancer. This screening option is much more rational than determining the PSA level in each man.

BRCA2 mutations are not only scary for women. They talk about the risk of a dangerous type of prostate cancer
BRCA2 mutations are not only scary for women. They talk about the risk of a dangerous type of prostate cancer

Photo: pixabay.com /

Scientists at the Cancer Research Institute in London are urging men with a defect in the BRCA2 gene to be regularly screened for aggressive prostate cancer. This screening option is much more rational than determining the PSA level in each man.

“Our study shows very clearly that men with a BRCA2 gene defect are at increased risk for aggressive prostate cancer, and that regular PSA testing could improve early diagnosis and treatment,” said Rosalind Eeles, who led the study. to check the effectiveness of the test.

The PSA test measures the level of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. However, despite the relatively low cost and ease of administration, guidelines in most countries indicate that the test is not suitable for universal screening - the potential harm from overdiagnosis and overtreatment outweighs the possible benefits.

The fact is that a significant part of those who receive a positive test result either do not have this disease (false positive result), or have a slowly growing neoplasm that does not require treatment, or a relatively safe disease (for example, a urinary tract infection). In addition, according to a 2018 study, up to 15% of men with prostate cancer have normal PSA (false negative) levels.

However, men with defects in the BRCA2 gene are diagnosed with prostate cancer five times more often at a younger age and are twice as likely to develop a more serious, potentially life-threatening form of this cancer.

The discovery of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in 1994 was a major advance in oncology, revealing a wide range of possible pathways by which defects in genes can lead to cancer. The genes of the BRCA family owe their name to the fact that violations in them are often associated with breast cancer - BReast CAncer.

The genes themselves were originally identified by analyzing families and ethnic groups in which the rate of breast cancer was higher than normal. Specific defects in the BRCA2 gene were found to be particularly common among Icelanders, Scots, Northern Irish, Quebec, and Ashkenazi Jews. In these families and groups, researchers also found higher rates of male breast cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and other cancers.

Painstaking research over the years has shown that these genes play a vital role in repairing DNA breaks. When this process is disrupted due to problems in the gene itself, mutations accumulate that can lead to cancer-causing changes in the rest of the DNA. This is why screening for early signs, including the PSA test, is becoming increasingly important.

Although not all ethnic groups are at risk, it is nevertheless possible for any family to transmit dangerous changes in BRCA1 and BRCA2 from generation to generation. Therefore, cases of breast cancer, prostate cancer and especially breast cancer in men in family history should be discussed with a doctor and undergo a DNA test for defects in genes.

Not all changes to BRCA2 carry the same risks, so you need to weigh the pros and cons before taking any preventive measures. In some cases, regular checks using the PSA test are sufficient.

Sometimes extreme precautions are taken. As you know, actress Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy, removed the ovaries and fallopian tubes after a failure in the BRCA1 gene was found. Given her mother's breast cancer and the death of her mother and grandmother from ovarian cancer, she decided not to tempt fate.

Popular by topic