Does Prostate Cancer Run In the Family?
Prostate cancer has a number of known risk factors, one of which includes having a family history of prostate cancer. Hereditary and familial prostate cancer are less common than prostate cancer not associated with a family history. Still, having a first-degree relative with prostate cancer does increase a man’s risk of developing the disease himself. Review the information below from board-certified urologists Drs. Ahmad and Ali Kasraeian and the knowledgeable team at Kasraeian Urology in Jacksonville, FL to gain a better understanding of how a family history of prostate cancer may impact your own risk of developing prostate cancer.
What causes prostate cancer?
There are many factors that may contribute to a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. Some of the most notable prostate cancer risk factors include:
- Dietary factors
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Exposure to Agent Orange
- Family history of prostate cancer
Does BPH cause prostate cancer?
No. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) does not cause prostate cancer, nor does having BPH increase a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. BPH can, however, cause a man to experience uncomfortable or disruptive symptoms, including frequent urination and difficulty voiding.
If my dad had prostate cancer, will I get it too?
Both familiar and hereditary prostate cancers are associated with a family history of prostate cancer, but these two forms of the disease make up only about 25% of the total prostate cancer cases diagnosed each year. It is important for men to understand, however, that having a strong family history of prostate cancer does, in fact, increase their chance of developing prostate cancer by as much as 200 – 300%. In particular, men with three or more relatives on the same side of the family, as well as men with a first-degree relative (father, son, or brother) who has or had prostate cancer, are at increased risk of developing prostate cancer.
When should I start getting PSA tests if my father had prostate cancer?
Men without a family history of prostate cancer and no known prostate cancer risk factors are typically encouraged to begin annual PSA testing at age 55. For men who are at increased risk of developing prostate cancer, it may be necessary to begin routine PSA testing as early as age 40. Should an elevated PSA be detected, Dr. Kasraeian may recommend further studies to evaluate for the presence of prostate cancer, including:
- Repeat PSA
- MRI/US fusion biopsy
- 4K biomarkers
- ExoDX prostate test
Should I get my prostate removed if my father had prostate cancer?
With more and more women choosing to undergo preventive mastectomy, many men are now wondering if they should have a prostatectomy to reduce their risk of developing prostate cancer. This question is most common among men with a strong family history of prostate cancer and/or a known BRCA/BRCA2 gene. There are several considerations when it comes to preventive prostatectomy, such as the potential side effects of prostatectomy, which include urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, and others.
If you have questions about removing your healthy prostate, don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Kasraeian, who will take ample time to listen to all of your concerns and discuss your options at length.
In the meantime, patients should continue regular PSA tests and digital rectal exams (DREs), eat a balanced diet and live a healthy, active lifestyle to discourage the development of prostate cancer.
Concerned about a family history of prostate cancer? Connect with a board-certified urologist in Jacksonville, FL
With a family history of prostate cancer and certain genetic factors dramatically increasing a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer, it is critical to establish a relationship with a urologist by age 40. To learn more about the connection between prostate cancer and genetics, call Kasraeian Urology in Jacksonville, FL to schedule your discreet consultation with board-certified urologists Dr. Ahmad Kasraeian and Dr. Ali Kasraeian today.