(HealthDay News) — A man’s risk of aggressive and fatal prostate cancer may be heavily influenced by gene mutations previously linked to breast and ovarian cancer in women, a trio of new studies suggests. Findings from the studies were presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association, held from May 6 to 10 in San Diego.

In the first study, Srinivas Vourganti, MD, of the SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, and colleagues conducted an evidence review. The review combined the results of 12 prostate cancer studies. Those studies included 261 men who tested positive for a BRCA2 mutation. The researchers found that the cancer already metastasized in 17.4% of newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients who had a BRCA2 mutation, compared with 4.4% of new diagnoses across the general population. Men with BRCA2 mutations also were much more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage prostate cancer — 40.3% compared with 10.8% of the general population.

The second study reviewed blood DNA samples from 857 prostate cancer patients treated at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. Researchers found that black prostate cancer patients were more than 3 times as likely to have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation as white patients — 7.3 versus 2.2%. In addition, black prostate cancer patients were more likely to have their cancer metastasize than whites (9.4 vs 2.4%), and it tended to take less time for their cancer to spread.

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The third study focused exclusively on men who’d been treated for breast cancer. A review of 5,753 men diagnosed with breast cancer revealed that they had a more than 30% increased risk of developing prostate cancer later on. Doctors should consider screening men with a personal or family history of breast cancer for BRCA mutations that could influence their risk of prostate cancer, the researchers said.


  1. BRCA Gene Mutations Associated With Increased Prostate Cancer Risk [news release] May 8, 2016