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BRCA & HBOC
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Prostate Cancer

Learn about the specific risks for cancers associated with HBOC.

Prostate cancer risk overview

Men with inherited mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2, CHEK2, ATM and other genes are at increased risk for prostate cancer. Although mutations in several genes can increase prostate cancer risk, mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 carry the greatest risk for diagnosis. 

Prostate cancer risk estimates

  • Among men without mutations, the average lifetime risk for prostate cancer is about 11%.
  • Men with a BRCA2 mutation have a lifetime risk for prostate cancer of about 20%.
  • Men with a BRCA1 mutation are believed to have a slightly increased lifetime risk for prostate cancer compared to men without mutations.
  • Because genetic testing for other gene mutations like ATM and CHEK2 is relatively new, fewer men with these mutations have been studied; however, prostate cancer risk associated with these mutations is believed to be elevated as well. More research is needed to determine the exact risk in men with these gene mutations.

It is important that men with an inherited mutation associated with increased prostate cancer risk let their health care providers know because this could change prostate cancer screening recommendations. 

Risk for aggressive prostate cancer

Recently, researchers found that approximately 10% of men with hormone-resistant metastatic prostate cancer had inherited mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2, ATM, CHEK2, or others genes that are associated with increased cancer risk. As a result, national guidelines now recommend genetic counseling and testing for all men with metastatic prostate cancer to determine whether or not they have a genetic mutation.

BRCA-related prostate cancer is associated with a more aggressive form of the disease and may result in higher death rates. Treatment for BRCA-related prostate cancer may also be different than treatment for men who do not have a mutation.

Updated 07/26/17

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