Men and breast cancer: What you should know about BRCA screening

male breast cancer

In 2013, actress Angelina Jolie brought genetic testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome (HBOC) into the limelight by announcing that she had preventive surgery to remove her breasts.

These declarations, which received wide media coverage, spurred many women to examine their family histories and their own cancer risks more closely, prompting some to seek genetic counseling.

However, discussion of the impact on men and their families has been largely absent, even though the condition affects both genders.

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Which men should consider genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2?

  • Those with personal or family history of at least two men with aggressive prostate cancers (Gleason score of 7 or greater)
  • Men with a family history of ovarian cancer; a female relative who developed breast cancer at a young age (earlier than 50); or three or more female relatives with breast cancer at any age
  • Men of Ashkenazi Jewish descent and personal or family history of breast, ovarian, or pancreatic cancers, aggressive prostate cancer, or melanoma

Can men transmit this condition to their daughters?

Yes. Contrary to conventional thinking, each child of a man who has a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation has a 50 percent risk of carrying the same mutation, even if the man never develops cancer.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: What Men Should Know About BRCA Variant Testing

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