Prostate & Breast Cancer Prostate cancer and breast cancer have more in common than you might think. Both have similar numbers of cases and deaths, a greater impact on the Black community, and can run in families. Learn more. Jump To Jump To Commonalities The BRCA Gene Did you know that prostate cancer and breast cancer have these in common? Expand All Prostate cancer and breast cancer affect men and women at nearly the same rate. One in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. In addition, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer in women, while prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer in men. They are each the second leading cause of cancer death in women and men (behind lung cancer). For both prostate cancer and breast cancer, early detection can save lives. A PSA test is the main screening tool to detect prostate cancer in men. The five-year survival rate for early (local) stage prostate cancer is over 99%. A mammogram is the main screening tool to detect breast cancer in women. The five-year survival rate for breast cancer is similar - 99% for early (local) stage disease. But when prostate and breast cancer are detected in advanced (distant) stage, the survival rates drop to 32% and 30%, respectively. A family history of prostate cancer and/or breast cancer can increase risk. Five to 10% of prostate and breast cancers are thought to be hereditary, meaning they resulted from gene mutations passed down from a parent, like BRCA1, BRCA2, and others. For this reason, it is important to talk about cancer risk and all of your health history with your family. A family history of prostate, breast, ovarian, or pancreatic cancers should be noted, in particular. Gene mutations found in those cancers have been identified in prostate cancer and linked to more aggressive disease. Use our prostate cancer family tree tool to begin discussions with your family.Read more information on the BRCA gene below. Prostate cancer and breast cancer have a greater toll on the Black community Black women and men are more likely to be diagnosed with breast and prostate cancer at a younger age and at more advanced stages than white women and men. Breast cancer deaths in Black women are about 40% higher than in white women. Prostate cancer deaths in Black men are more than twice as high as in white men. Learn more about the commonalities between breast cancer and prostate cancerIf you want to print the Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer Infographic, please click here. Prostate cancer, breast cancer, and the BRCA geneUnderstanding genetics, family history, and other risk factors can be helpful in navigating a cancer diagnosis – especially in breast cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer.Both men and women have the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes (short for BReast CAncer genes 1 and 2) in their cells. The BRCA1 and BRCA1 genes are responsible for helping our cells repair DNA damage. If these genes are mutated (changed), the DNA damage can't be correctly repaired. Tests help determine if our BRCA genes are mutated or not.The BRCA gene mutations happen in two different ways:Germline Mutations of the BRCA Gene: Germline mutations are DNA alterations inherited from a parent – in the germ cells (sperm and egg). When a gene mutation is inherited, that means the mutation is present in every cell in the body.Somatic Mutations of the BRCA Gene: Somatic mutations are DNA alterations that occur after conception and are not passed on to children. Somatic, or acquired, BRCA mutations are only found in the cells of the tumor.What does this mean for prostate cancer?Having a BRCA mutation can impact the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer, as well as impact a man's children and grandchildren.Men who have a BRCA mutation are at a higher risk for developing prostate cancer than men without a BRCA mutation.A BRCA mutation may also increase your risk of being diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer.A BRCA mutation can be passed onto children and grandchildren, increasing their risk for prostate, breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers.Knowing if you have a BRCA mutation may impact treatment decisions. For instance, men with metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) and a germline BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation may be candidates for PARP inhibitors, a type of targeted therapy.Genetic testing is a personal decision and has pros and cons. Speaking with your doctor and a genetic counselor is always recommended.