Genetics

Data have shown that prostate cancer may cluster in some families.

Prostate cancer seems to run in some families, which suggests that in some cases there may be an inherited or genetic factor. Having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles a man's risk of developing this disease. (The risk is higher for men who have a brother with the disease than for those with an affected father.) The risk is much higher for men with several affected relatives, particularly if their relatives were young at the time the cancer was found.

In addition, scientists have found several inherited gene changes that seem to raise prostate cancer risk, but they probably account for only a small number of cases overall. Genetic testing for most of these gene changes is not yet available.

The Prostate Cancer Genetics Project has been designed to discover whether or not there is a gene -- or genes -- involved in the development of prostate cancer.

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