Family history and the risk of prostate cancer

Prostate. 1990;17(4):337-47. doi: 10.1002/pros.2990170409.


A case-control study was performed to estimate the relative risk of developing prostate cancer for men with a positive family history. Extensive cancer pedigrees were obtained on 691 men with prostate cancer and 640 spouse controls. Fifteen percent of the cases but only 8% of the controls had a father or brother affected with prostate cancer (P less than .001). Men with a father or brother affected were twice as likely to develop prostate cancer as men with no relatives affected. In addition, there was a trend of increasing risk with increasing number of affected family members such that men with two or three first degree relatives affected had a five and 11-fold increased risk of developing prostate cancer. Recognizing that 9-10% of U.S. men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime, men with a family history of prostate cancer should be advised of their significantly increased prostate cancer risk and should undergo appropriate screening measures for this disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors