Genes Help Explain Role of Race in Prostate Cancer Risk

Genes Help Explain Role of Race in Prostate Cancer Risk

Many people do not realize that some of the risk factors for prostate cancer are determined by genetic makeup. African American men statistically have a higher risk for contracting this disease than other men of a different ethnicity. 

A study led by the USC Center for Genetic Epidemiology in Los Angeles and the Institute of Cancer Research in London highlighted the new genetic research that is better defining the risk African American men have when considering the prevalence of prostate cancer.

 The study found, for African American men, the risk of getting prostate cancer is 75% higher than it is for a white man, and it’s more than twice as deadly. The study also identified 86 previously unknown genetic variations that increase prostate cancer risk. Known variations now number 269. Furthermore, the study found men of Asian ancestry inherit about three-quarters the risk of white men.

The researchers also noted that past prostate cancer studies included an overrepresentation of white men, making it more difficult to understand and address variations in risk by race.

“The potential utility of this is that it can be used to define men who are at elevated risk of developing prostate cancer,” said lead author Christopher Haiman, professor of preventive medicine at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles.

Studies such as this one are driving the utility of genetic testing. A hereditary cancer screening can help to identify the gene mutations for prostate cancer.

Vita Medical Solutions partners with laboratories to facilitate access to advanced hereditary cancer (CGx) genetic testing.

Learn more about your personal and family genetic makeup and personalized medicine options through our genetic test offerings. Read more specifically about CGx testing here:

With qualifying insurance, this test can cost you nothing out of pocket. Click below to schedule a call with one of Vita Medical’s Patient Services Consultants to find out your eligibility.

Call us 1.800.590.9292 (toll free) or email at [email protected].


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