Originally Posted by kee4u
P.S. My father and his three brothers his father, my cousin and my brother all had prostate cancer plus my uncle and another cousin had bladder cancer. My brother got it when he was 50 years old. I'm 49 yrs old now i'm so scared that i'm going to get it too. I go in every year for the screening. Thanks for any help... Ken
I hope you get some answers to your question, but I wanted to post something about your P.S.
As you may know, your family probably has the genes for what is known as "hereditary prostate cancer." I know something about that because I think my family is in that same boat. (My father and grandfather both died from PC. I'm participating in a genetic study for prostate cancer run by Johns Hopkins.) I'm concerned how to protect my family. The wonderful book "A Primer on Prostate Cancer - The Empowered Patient's Guide," says several things about genetic risk, including this statement on page B1: "2.1 About Hereditary and Familial Prostate Cancer In the United States, approximately 75% of men diagnosed with PC have what is considered 'sporadic' PC. The remainder, approximately one out of every four men diagnosed with PC, will demonstrate evidence of genetic clustering of PC. Of these men with genetic clustering, 19% are considered to be cases of hereditary prostate cancer (HPC) whereas 81% are designated as having familial PC or FPC (Fig.1). FPC is defined as simple clustering of the cancer in families. HPC is characterized by a pattern of inheritance linked to a single gene that is transmitted from father to son, and from father to daughter and then to grandson ie. an autosomal dominant gene. Due to the high penetrance of the gene, nearly half the male offspring will have PC and many of these will develop PC at an age younger than 55 years. Since the gene is also passed along via female offspring, the family should be questioned about the maternal grandfather, maternal uncles and maternal cousins. HPC accounts for nearly 43% of PC diagnosed before the age of 55 years....Three criteria are required to designate a patient as having HPC. 1. A family with three generations affected by PC. 2. Three first-degree relatives affected (brother(s), father). 3. Two relatives affected before the age of 55 years...." I think the authors really mean any one of the three, but I'm not positive.
You are definitely doing the right thing by getting screened every year. Be sure to get a copy of each report, and track the numbers in a book.
I posted today about a book written by Dr. Charles "Snuffy" Myers, MD, who is one of the world's experts in nutrition, supplements, diet and lifestyle to help prevent and support treatment for prostate cancer. I think that the nutritional and lifestyle prostate cancer prevention tactics described in that book could help lower your odds of being diagnosed.
I also posted a new thread yesterday entitled "Hurray for finasteride (Proscar) - the medical community finally does the right thing." It's about the mild drug that has been proven to safely decrease the risk of prostate cancer by at least 25%, probably 30%. Isn't that something!
I think you are exactly the kind of person who could benefit from this drug, though I don't know if researchers have looked specifically at how men do who have hereditary prostate cancer in their families. It looks like Avodart may be twice as effective, but the results of key trials are not in yet - maybe later this year.
You might also want to consider a statin drug, the class used to lower cholesterol. Research has shown that it does not keep us from getting prostate cancer, but it really reduces the percentage of deadly prostate cancer, especially for those who have been on a statin for three years or more.
Here's hoping you never have to join our club!