BRCA2 mutations are threat not only for women but also for men, study claims

November 15, 2019  09:45

Mutations of the BRCA2 gene are threat not only for women, but also for men as they increase the risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer.

Therefore, scientists at the Cancer Research Institute in London urge men who have a defect in the BRCA2 gene to regularly screen for prostate cancer.

Such a screening option, according to experts, is much more rational than determining the level of PSA in each man.

The PSA test reveals the level of a prostate-specific antigen in the blood. Although the test is relatively cheap and simple, the guidelines of most countries indicate that it is not practical to use it for general screening because of the high risk of overdiagnosis. The fact is that many men with a positive test result either do not have this disease, or there is a slowly growing neoplasm that does not require treatment, or a relatively safe disease.

According to a 2018 study, up to 15% of men with prostate cancer have a normal PSA level.

However, for men with defects in the BRCA2 gene, prostate cancer is diagnosed 5 times more often than others.

Mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer in women and prostate cancer in men are transmitted from generation to generation. Therefore, people with a family history of ailments are advised to consult a doctor and discuss the need for a DNA test.

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

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