Hereditary prostate cancer refers to the formation of prostate cancer in multiple generations of a family that can be linked to a genetic cause. Cancer cells divide rapidly and can form dangerous tumors. Those with prostate cancer do not always experience symptoms. Some only realize they have an issue once they experience pain during urination or pain within bones. As a tumor gets larger, the individual might have difficulty stopping or starting urination, feeling like they can’t empty their bladder fully, or have blood in their urine or semen.
Mutations in the BRCA1, BRCA2, and HOXB13 genes are believed to be associated withhereditary prostate cancer. Genes are inherited in pairs, one from the mother and one from the father. Mutations in the genes prevent them from functioning correctly, which could potentially cause tumors to form. Most forms of prostate cancer are not hereditary, meaning that they do not run in the family. Prostate cancer that is hereditary is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Autosomal dominant inheritance means that only one mutated, or changed, gene needs to be received from a parent for the individual to have the condition.
Physicians can evaluate prostate cancer with a rectal exam or a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. A PSA test measures an element in a blood sample given to determine if levels are higher than normal.
Chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and medications can all be used to create a treatment plan for the individual. Physicians often prescribe a combination of treatments based on the patient’s specific type and severity of prostate cancer. However, some tumors develop slowly enough that they may never cause problems, even without treatment.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with hereditary prostate cancer, talk with your doctor about the most current treatment options. Support groups may also provide resources for support and information.
Description Last Updated: Aug 15, 2018