London: A faulty gene that increases breast cancer risk in women also quadruples the chances of prostate cancer among men, says a recent study.
"Until now, there has been some doubt as to whether mutations in the BRCA1 gene increase the risk of prostate cancer," said Ros Eeles, professor at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, who conducted the research.
"Our study has shown that men with prostate cancer have a one in 200 chance of having an alteration of this gene and men with this alteration have a 3.8 fold increased risk of developing the disease," said Eeles, the British Journal of Cancer reports.
Men carrying a faulty BRCA1 gene have a one in 11 chance of developing prostate cancer by 65 years, the study said. The faulty gene seemed to be tied to a particularly aggressive form of cancer making early detection and treatment vital, according to the Telegraph.
In breast cancer, BRCA1 increases the chances of developing the disease five-fold, giving them a six in 10 chance of breast cancer compared with a one in eight chance for healthy women. It has led some women with the faulty gene to have pre-emptive mastectomy rather than live with high risk of breast cancer.
Emma Malcolm, chief executive of the charity Prostate Action, which co-funded the study, said: "Early detection of prostate cancer can vastly improve the chances of successful treatment but at the moment there is no effective way of screening the disease."