Breast cancer genes dangerous for men too
BRCA mutations also put men at higher risk for often aggressive prostate cancers that occur at younger ages
BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations put women at high risk for breast and ovarian cancers, but these mutations also increase men's risk for certain cancers, a new study finds.
If a male has a BRCA mutation, their risk of breast cancer increases 100-fold," comments senior study author Dr. Christopher Childers, resident physician in the department of surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine.
BRCA mutations also put men at higher risk for often aggressive prostate cancers that occur at younger ages, Childers explained in a university news release.
These mutations have also been associated with other cancers, such as pancreatic cancer and melanoma [skin cancer]," he noted.
That is why it is very important that men at risk of a BRCA mutation get genetic testing, as it can potentially help them detect future cancers, WebMD reports.
Childers and his colleagues analyzed data from the 2015 U.S. National Health Interview Survey. The team found that nearly 2.5 million people had received cancer genetic testing. Of those people, nearly three times as many women had testing compared to men -- 73 percent versus 27 percent, respectively.
The study was published April 26 in the journal JAMA Oncology.
Further research is needed to learn why so few men get tested for BRCA gene mutations and how to increase their rates, said study lead author Kimberly Childers, a genetic counselor and regional manager of the Providence Health and Services Southern California's clinical genetics and genomics program.