Jan 14, 2015 10:00 AM

Author: Cancer Learning Center

A discovery by researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) shows that looking at whether a man’s uncles and great-grandparents, among other second- and third-degree relatives, had prostate cancer could be as important as looking at whether his father had prostate cancer. A more complete family history would give physicians a new tool to decide whether or not a PSA test was appropriate.

“Family history is a substantial risk factor for prostate cancer,” said Lisa Cannon-Albright, PhD, U of U professor of genetic epidemiology and an HCI investigator. “But typically, a clinician will ask a patient whether there are any people in the family with prostate cancer, possibly identifying whether they are first-degree relatives. And that’s about as far as it goes.”

Cannon-Albright’s team used data from the Utah Population Database, which correlates genealogic and medical information for more than 7.3 million individuals, to create individualized risk estimates for men based on prostate cancer history in their first-, second-, and third-degree relatives. Watch the video below to learn more about the research.

Cancer Learning Center

Huntsman Cancer Institute

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