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Brothers of prostate cancer patients undergo more diagnostic activities
Date:8/19/2010

The brothers of men with prostate cancer are at an increased risk of prostate cancer diagnosis because of increased diagnostic activity and not necessarily because they carry a genetic mutation that increases risk of the disease, according to a study published online August 19 in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Family history is a stronger risk for prostate cancer than for many other cancers and many epidemiological studies have shown an increased risk of the disease for brothers and sons of men with the disease. Since the introduction and wide-spread usage of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test in the early 1990s, the sons and brothers of men with prostate cancer have undergone more diagnostic activity.

To determine whether or not estimates of the familial risk of prostate cancer may be at least partially inflated by detection bias from increased diagnostic activity, Ola Bratt, M.D., of the urology department at the Helsingborg Hospital in Sweden, and colleagues, looked at data from the Prostate Cancer Database Sweden for patients who were diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1996 and 2006 and who were registered in the National Prostate Cancer Registry.

Their analysis included 22,511 brothers of 13,975 "index patients," who were prostate cancer patients with one or more brother and their fathers registered in Sweden's Multi-Generation Register, which includes family information for Swedish residents born starting in 1932.

The researchers found that incidence of prostate cancer was higher among brothers of prostate cancer patients than men of the same age in Sweden and that the incidence was higher still among men with both a brother and father with prostate cancer. Incidence was highest among men who had two brothers with prostate cancer.

However, the type of cancer most often detected was early-stage prostate cancer, which is typically detected by a PSA test and may or may not bec
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Contact: Kristine Crane
jncimedia@oxfordjournals.org
301-841-1285
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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