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Who Should Consider Testing?

Learn about genes and cancer, signs of hereditary cancer, genetic counseling, types of genetic tests and what results mean for you and your family.

Genetic testing for men with prostate cancer

Research shows a link between certain types of aggressive prostate cancers and inherited mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2, ATM and CHEK2.

Approximately 10% of men with a hormone-resistant, metastatic prostate cancer will test positive for one of these mutations. As a result, national guidelines recommend genetic counseling and testing for all men with metastatic prostate cancer to determine whether or not they have an inherited genetic mutation that is relevant to their cancer.  

Benefits of genetic testing for men with prostate cancer

Genetic test results may provide you and your family with additional health information and help you make medical decisions. Test results may:

  • affect prognosis. For example, research has shown that men with hereditary prostate cancer are more likely to develop aggressive disease that becomes resistant to hormonal therapies. 
  • affect treatment decisions. For example, men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) with certain types of inherited mutations may benefit from treatment with a targeted therapy or an immunotherapy
  • affect eligibility for certain clinical trials for targeted therapy.
  • help relatives understand and manage their risk for cancer.

Gene mutations linked to hereditary prostate cancer

The following gene mutations have been linked with hereditary prostate cancer. Each gene has slightly different cancer risks and recommendations. You should speak with a genetics expert before and after genetic testing to understand which test to order and what your results mean for you and your family. ‚Äč

  • ATM

  • BRCA1

  • BRCA2

  • CHEK2


  • HOXB13

  • MLH1

  • MSH2

  • MSH6

  • NBN

  • PALB2 

  • PMS2

  • TP53

Additional support and resources

If you are a prostate cancer survivor making decisions about genetic testing, you may want additional guidance or support. FORCE's Peer Navigation Program provides expert reviewed resources and 1:1 personalized peer support by specially trained volunteers who have experienced the very challenges you face. 

Updated 06/11/2020

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