Scientists believe to have reached a step closer in DNA testing that can identify men diagnosed with prostate cancer and having greater risk of dying from this disease. A team of scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research, London confirmed that men could undergo genetic screening similar to that of breast cancer in women.
Scientists have shown that 14 mutations can increase the chances of prostate cancers.
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer among men in various countries, including the UK, where over 40,000 people are diagnosed every year. But not necessarily every patient has, or needs to involve in invasive therapy that result in severe side-effects.
Researchers took 191 prostate cancer patients' blood sample and about three close family members suffering from the same condition. Each of the samples was tested for 14 dangerous mutations, including the BRCA genes involved in repairing DNA and linked to ovarian and breast cancers. The test showed that about 7 percent of the men carried one of the 14 high-risk mutations and these men with aggressive prostate cancer had already started spreading around the body.
"I can see in two to three years offering screening to men with prostate cancer and to men worried about their family history." BBC News quoted Dr. Zsofia Kote-Jarai, one of the researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research.
However, she said it was doubtful that these men would immediately choose to have their prostate removed.
"A mastectomy is removing an organ we don't really need, and there is excellent plastic surgery afterwards. Radical prostatectomy has really big side-effects. It is more likely men will be monitored more closely", she added.
The side-effects of the disease include infertility, uncontrolled urination and difficulty maintaining and keeping an erection.
Though the screening of the test has not yet been started, the research group is already undergoing large trials including 2,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer and testing 192 genes.
Vitamin E supplement may increase risk of Prostate Cancer
A new research has shown that people involved in dietary supplements containing increased level of Vitamin E, are at high risk of prostate cancer.
"Many people think that dietary supplements are helpful or at the least innocuous. This is not true. We know from several other studies that some high-dose dietary supplements-that is, supplements that provide far more than the daily recommended intakes of micronutrients-increase cancer risk. We knew this based on randomized, controlled, double-blinded studies for folate and beta carotene, and now we know it for vitamin E and selenium", said Dr. Alan Kristal, a researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and author of the new study.