Men with BRCA2 fault are at DOUBLE the risk of developing disease, study suggests 

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Now ‘Jolie-type gene’ is linked to prostate cancer: Men with BRCA2 fault are at DOUBLE the risk of developing disease, study suggests

  • Men who carry BRCA2 have more than double the risk of getting prostate cancer
  • Study found a third of men with the genetic fault will be diagnosed by age of 85
  • Mutations in the BRCA genes are more known for dangers they pose to women
  • Angelina Jolie had a preventative mastectomy in 2013 due to BRCA1 mutation


Prostate screening should be offered to thousands of men with a harmful gene mutation that has long been linked to breast cancer, research suggests.

Men who carry a genetic fault called BRCA2 have more than double the risk of developing prostate cancer, a study found.

A third of men who have the mutation will be diagnosed with this cancer by the age of 85.

The fault is similar to the BRCA1 mutation, which caused Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie to have a preventative mastectomy.

Men who carry a genetic fault called BRCA2 have more than double the risk of developing prostate cancer, a study found (stock image)

Men who carry a genetic fault called BRCA2 have more than double the risk of developing prostate cancer, a study found (stock image)

Mutations in the BRCA genes are much more well known for the danger they pose to women, increasing their odds of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. 

That is why in 2013 Miss Jolie had her ovaries and Fallopian tubes removed, and a double mastectomy, to reduce her risk.

But one in 300 males carry the BRCA2 mutation, which is roughly 110,000 men and boys in the UK.

A study led by Cambridge University tracked more than 5,000 families worldwide with at least one person carrying a BRCA mutation.

Among the 2,157 families with the BRCA2 mutation, men carrying the genetic fault were 2.2 times more likely to get prostate cancer than men of the same age in the wider population. 

One of the study’s authors, Professor Marc Tischkowitz, from Cambridge University, said: ‘These findings could help men who have a BRCA2 fault be more aware of their risk of prostate cancer and monitor their symptoms more closely. 

The fault is similar to the BRCA1 mutation, which caused Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie (pictured in February 2012) to have a preventative mastectomy

The fault is similar to the BRCA1 mutation, which caused Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie (pictured in February 2012) to have a preventative mastectomy 

‘That could mean any cases being picked up more quickly.

‘But there is also an argument that this evidence means men with the BRCA2 gene should be offered routine prostate screening to detect early signs of cancer developing.’ 

The Daily Mail has campaigned for better diagnosis of prostate cancer, which kills almost 12,000 men a year in the UK, causing around one in eight male cancer deaths.

At the moment there is no routine screening for prostate cancer, because the only test available on the NHS – the PSA (prostate specific antigen) test – is unreliable. 

But many experts argue that those with the BRCA2 mutation should be offered the PSA test regularly.

The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, also found that the fault was linked to three times the risk of stomach and pancreatic cancer, and put men’s odds of getting breast cancer 44 times higher.

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