Family History of Breast or Prostate Cancer and Prostate Cancer Risk

Clin Cancer Res. 2018 Dec 1;24(23):5910-5917. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-0370. Epub 2018 Aug 6.


Purpose: Breast and prostate cancer co-occur in families, and women with a family history of prostate cancer are at increased breast cancer risk. Prostate cancer is among the most heritable cancers, but few studies have investigated its association with familial breast cancer. The objective of this study is to investigate the extent to which familial breast or prostate cancer in first-degree relatives increases prostate cancer risk.

Experimental design: A prospective study of 37,002 U.S. men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. During the 16-year follow-up to 2012, 4,208 total and 344 lethal cases were diagnosed. Using cause-specific hazards regression, we estimated the multivariable HRs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for associations between familial breast or prostate cancer and total and lethal prostate cancer.

Results: Those with familial breast cancer had a 21% greater risk of prostate cancer overall (95% CI, 1.10-1.34), and a 34% greater risk of lethal disease (HR 1.34; 95% CI, 0.96-1.89). Family history of prostate cancer alone was associated with a 68% increased risk of total disease (95% CI, 1.53-1.83) and a 72% increased risk of lethal disease (95% CI, 1.25-2.38). Men with a family history of both cancers were also at elevated risk.

Conclusions: Our study found that men with a family history of breast or prostate cancer had elevated prostate cancer risks, including risk of lethal disease. These findings have translational relevance for cancer risk prediction in men.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / history
  • Public Health Surveillance
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors

Supplementary concepts

  • Breast Cancer, Familial
  • Prostate cancer, familial