Researchers from the United States and Britain are proposing a new prostate cancer test to avoid patients with the illness to endure on unnecessary treatments and possibly prevent their family members suffering from cancer.
A recent study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine proposes a new and simple test for patients suffering from prostate cancer. The test simply asks all prostate cancer patients to test their genes. When a possible patient has a family history of cancer, physicians perform saliva tests to determine whether the patient has a DNA mutation genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2, which are held responsible for repairing DNA.
The recent study advises all of the patients to get their genes tested since they could avoid miss treatments and warn family members of cancer threats. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Taking the lives of more than half a million Americans each year.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among U.S men, aside from skin cancer. Affecting men from all races and origins in the country, just back in 2013 around 176,450 men were diagnosed with the disease and 27,000 died from it.
Prevention has always been one of the main advice from physicians, getting tested, knowing family history and regular exams could be the answer to knowing the disease. But not American and British researchers have proposed a simple, yet, useful method.
“The study has a simple message, those individuals with advanced prostate cancer should consider getting genetic testing, regardless of family history,” said Kenneth Offit, senior co-author of the research and chief of the Clinical Service at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Center.
— Fred Hutch (@fredhutch) July 7, 2016
All patients should be tested
Researchers performed a study in almost 700 men in both the United States and Britain, testing different men with prostate cancer and looking for the DNA mutations on their systems. BRCA1 and BRCA2, are DNA- repair genes related to the disease and to breast and ovarian cancer.
If physicians learn whether the patient has these DNA-repair genes or not, depends on the treatment they will receive. The health industry has developed this new type of drugs called PARP inhibitors.
The recent drugs are most used in patients suffering from ovarian cancer, yet the medicine has to be proven to be very effective in patients suffering from prostate cancer and having the DNA-repairing genes. This test could allow both physicians and patients a better treatment.
“Historically, the main benefit of identifying cancer-causing mutations has been prevention and early detection in families. Now we can use inherited genomic information to target treatment,” said Michael Walsh, co-author of the research and geneticist at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Center.
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) July 6, 2016
Prevention in patient’s families
Genetic testing in prostate cancer patients could also benefit their families since patients with abnormalities in their DNA were most likely to have a close relative suffering from cancer as well.
The study compared patients with DNA mutations and patients without them, to understand the first group had higher chances of having a relative suffering from cancer in different ways and forms.
By understanding their own genetics, patients could inform and help close relatives to get tested for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, especially women, with higher chances of suffering from ovarian and breast cancer.
World-known actress Angelina Jolie announced on 2013 she had endured in a double mastectomy removing her natural brain tissue. After learning she had the BRCA2 gene, which increased her possibilities of suffering from breast cancer to 87%.
“You have the opportunity to prevent ovarian cancer in the family of a man with prostate cancer,” said Kenneth Offit in a press release.
Researchers hope that with this recent discovery both prostate cancer patients and physicians, understand the importance of genetic testing and the benefits that could have not only on the patient’s treatment and life. But on the patient’s family members and close relatives.
If there’s no family history, preventing prostate cancer could rely on leading a low-fat diet especially in products that include meats, oils, dairy products, and cheese. Eating more veggies and fish could lead to a healthy weight that helps prevention. As well, as regular testing. Risk factors are higher in older men, as well as gene predisposition and race, vitamins, especially among older men are important to maintain a healthy body and system.
Source: Washington Post