Prostate cancer risk linked to family history of breast, upper GI cancer

WASHINGTON, D.C. — It is known that men who have a family history of prostate cancer (PCa) are at increased risk of the malignancy, but a new study shows that a family history of other cancers in first-degree relatives may increase that risk as well.

Grant Izmirlian, PhD, of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues found that a family history of female breast cancer in a first-degree relative was associated with a significant 11% and 19% increased risk of any PCa and aggressive PCa, respectively, after adjusting for age, race, body mass index, and other potential confounders.

A family history of upper gastrointestinal cancers in a first-degree relative is associated with a significant 19% increased risk of any PCa. Men who had a first-degree relative with PCa were at 49% and 47% increased risk for any PCa and aggressive PCa, respectively.

The findings, presented at the American Urological Association 2011 annual meeting, emerged from a nested prospective cohort analysis of data from the screened arm of the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) cancer screening trial.

The study, which the researchers said is one of the first of its kind in the United States, looked at 34,108 men aged 55 to 74 years who were randomized to receive annual PSA tests and digital rectal examinations and who had complete data available for analysis. In this group, 3,624 PCa cases were diagnosed during a median follow-up of 9.9 years. Of 4,836 deaths that occurred, 86 were due to PCa.

This article first appeared in Renal & Urology News, a sister publication to Clinical Advisor, as part of its American Urological Association 2011 Live Conference Coverage.

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