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.

Blue and pink for prostate and breast cancer

Did you know that prostate cancer and breast cancer have these in common?

Learn more about the commonalities between breast cancer and prostate cancer

Prostate and Breast Cancer Infographic 2023

If you want to print the Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer Infographic, please click here.

Prostate cancer, breast cancer, and the BRCA gene

Understanding 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:

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.