Evidence suggests that someone with a family history of breast or prostate cancer has an increase risk of the same disease, particularly among first-degree relatives. However, less is known about the relationship between breast and prostate cancer within families, particularly among minority populations.
Researchers analyzed 78,871 women to estimate the risk of breast cancer associated with a family history of prostate cancer, breast cancer, and both cancers among firstdegree relatives.
The study found that a family history of prostate cancer was associated with a modest increase in breast cancer. However, a family history of both breast and prostate cancer was associated with a 78% increase in breast cancer risk. Within this group, the risk estimates were higher among African American women versus Caucasian women.
The authors concluded that future studies are needed to determine how genetics and a shared environment contribute to the risk for both cancers. The findings could have a significant impact on shaping screening for early detection for both men and women with a history of both diseases.
Cancer. 2015 Apr 15; 121(8): 1265–1272.