PC down the family line ?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 126
   Posted 1/24/2011 11:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,

I do not know if it has been proved yet that PC comes down the family genetically but all Urologists and family doctors in the UK talk about family links with it, but this poses a question in my mind. If it does come down the family, can it be carried by a mother and passed to her sons ?

My mothers father had prostate problems and his son (my mum's brother) was diagnosed with it, i have since had it and my brother has severe prostate problems but is so far, cancer free thank goodness. So if the family link is correct, then it would seem my mum carried the gene from her dad and then myself and my brother got it. As far as we know there is no family history of PC on our dad's side, only on mum's.

I wondered if anyone had come across any data or information in relation to this ??

Many thanks, Bob.
Age 58
Prostate problems since early 40s
Ed since early 40s
April 2007 biopsy & all clear
July 2010 prostate swollen more, psa up to 5.6 August 6.7
September Biopsy again
October 7th diagnosed cancer, Gleason grade 6 at 10% mass
December 13th 2010 open radical proctatectomy
Pathology results came back Gleason grade 7 at 12% mass BUT clear margins
Catheter out Jan 5th 2011

English Alf
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2209
   Posted 1/24/2011 11:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Not sure where I read it, but I gathered that not only is the incidence of PCa among male relatives a factor but also the incidence of breast cancer among female relatives.

As yet however while there is a family-history factor with PCa, no specific link to any specific gene has yet been found to my knowledge. But an increased risk does not however mean that if your dad had PCa you will.

There are several people here at HW with a history of PCa among fathers brothers uncles etc. And I think some of them have mentioned cancers among female relatives too.

(Just been reading about this sort of thing in a new book: Beginners Guide to Cancer , by Paul Scotting Associate Professor of Genetics at University of Nottingham, published in UK by One World)

Born Jun ‘60
Apr 09 PSA 8.6
DRE neg
Biop 2 of 12 pos
Gleason 3+3
29 Jul 09 DaVinci AVL-NKI Amsterdam
6 Aug 09 Cath out
PostOp Gleason 3+4 Bladder neck & Left SVI -T3b
No perin’l No vasc invasion Clear margins
Dry at night
21 Sep 09 No pads daytime
17 Nov 09 PSA 0.1
17 Mar 10 PSA 0.4 sent to RT
13 Apr CT
66Gy 28 Apr to 11 Jun 10
Tired + weird BMs
14 Sep 10 PSA <0.1
12 Jan 11 PSA <0.1
Erection OK

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1146
   Posted 1/24/2011 12:19 PM (GMT -6)   
English Bob,
The answer to this is yes, it can be inherited down the maternal line. It is briefly described in Dr Strum's "A primer on prostate cancer". I used the references in the back of Dr Strum's book to investigate further. There is a difference between Familial Prostate cancer (which is far more common) and Heriditary Prostate cancer (which is tightly defined, and from what I could see, the outcomes were much more clearly defined). 
Heriditary prostate cancer is thought to be carried down generations by a set of yet to be identified genes. It can be carried down the maternal line. The definition of heriditary prostate cancer is when three generations of a family come down with prostate cancer. From memory a person with these set of genes have something like a 43% chance of handing down their genes to each of their children. If the child is a girl and she gets these sets of genes then she in turn has a 43% chance of handing down the genes to each of her children. If you have the genes and if you are a man then you have something like 87% chance of getting PCa. And the likelihood is that your cancer will be diagnosed at a much younger age (thus making it much more deadly) - if I remember correctly, people with the hereditary version of the disease got diagnosed on average 12 years below the overall average age of diagnosis for PCA. (I would get the exact numbers for except I am not writing this from home where all my research is, I am pretty sure it's close though).
My husband, Paul, has hereditary PCa from the maternal line. His maternal grandfather died of the disease at age 72. Paul's grandfather had 6 children. 2 male children, Paul's maternal uncles, got diagnosed with the disease, one dying at 60 of PCa. Paul's mother most likely inherited the gene which she gave to Paul and Paul got diagnosed at the age of 52. He has informed all of his maternal cousins of what we have learnt so that they are diligent about doing PSA tests. Nothing I read indicated that in case of hereditary PCa suggested that girls with these genes would be affected at all and in the case of Paul's mother, in is in fantastic health at 89, this seems to be bourne out. This may be different for Familial PCa.
Hope this helps,
Husband's age: 52. Sydney Australia.
Family history: Mat. grandfather died of PC at 72. Mat. uncle died of PC at 60. He has hereditary PC.
PSA: Aug07 - 2.5|Feb08 - 1.7|Oct09 - 3.67 (free PSA 27%)|Feb10 - 4.03 (free PSA 31%) |Jun10 - 2.69. DRE normal.
Biopsy 28Apr10: negative for a diagnosis of PC however 3 focal ASAPs “atypical, suspicious but not diagnostic” for PC. Review of biopsy by experienced pathologist, 1/12 core: 10% 3+3 (left transitional), 1/12 core: ASAP (left apex)
Nerve sparing RP, 20Aug10 with Dr Stricker. Post-op path: 3+4 (ISUP 2005). Neg (margins, seminal vesicles, extraprostatic extension). Multifocal, with main involvement in the fibro-muscular zone. T2C.
Post RP PSA,
Lab 1: Sep10 – 0.02|Nov10 – 0.03|Dec10 – 0.03
Lab 2: Nov 10 - 0.01|Dec10 – 0.01

Post Edited (An38) : 1/24/2011 11:53:43 AM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 1/24/2011 12:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bob

There have been many examples of prostate cancer running in the members of the same family but that may not be in all the cases. According to the Cancer Research UK, there is some evidence that suggests that prostate cancer can run in families. They say, as I quote here
“……If you have a relative diagnosed with prostate cancer you are at higher risk compared to the general population. If your father had prostate cancer your risk is 1.5 times higher. If you have a brother with prostate cancer, your risk is higher, at just under 3 times the average risk.
The age your relative is diagnosed with prostate cancer is also a factor. If they were diagnosed before the age of 60, this increases your risk by about 4 times the average. And if you have more than one first degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer (at any age) your risk is also about 4 times the average. A first degree relative means father, brother or son….”

Of course these are only probabilities of having PC, bud the research is done based on real data, and surely many in the same family will never get it. My son is in the same probability scale of high risk to get prostate cancer as your brother or son.
Hopefully nobody in our families will ever experience such disease; however you should advice any male in your family to have their PSA checked to prevent any advance of the “bad guy” in time.


Wishing you the best,
Age: 50 at Dx on May/2000; PSA=22.4;
6x cores biopsy positive; Gleason score (2+3=5)
RP in Aug/2000, PSA=24.2
Negative S-vesicles & lymph node (9); capsular penetration
Voluminous Adenocarcinoma, well-differentiated, Gs (3+2=5); pT3apN0
Post-op lowest PSA=0.18 on Oct/2000; Classified as Micro Metastasis
Jan/2001 PSA=0.26 Biochemical recurrence
AS (Watchful W.) until PSA=3.80 on Oct/2006; MRI & Bone scan negative
Nov/2006 SRT (3D IMRT; 68Gy / 37 fractions)
Feb/2008 lowest nPSA=0.05
May/2009 PSA=0.26 Biochemical recurrence
Oct/2010 PSA=0.95 (doubling at 9.6 months)
Nov/2010 ADT Cyproterone 100mg/day + Eligard 45mg 6-month depot
Asymptomatic, never incontinent, ED since RP

Ed C. (Old67)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2457
   Posted 1/24/2011 3:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I believe the answer is yes. PCa can be passed from the mother to her sons. That really scares me because my father in-law died of prostate cancer, and my Dad died with it. I fear for my 3 sons since PCA is all around them.
Age: 67 at Dx on 12/30/08 PSA 3.8
2 cores out of 12 were positive Gleason (4+4)
Davinci surgery 2/9/09 Gleason 4+4 EPE,
Margins clear, nerve bundles removed
Prostate weighed 57 grams 10-20% involved
all PSA tests since (2, 5, 8, 11, 15, 18 months) undetectable
Latest PSA test (21 months) .005

Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4818
   Posted 1/24/2011 3:30 PM (GMT -6)   

My dad and older brother are PCA clean... Go figure.

My dad's twin brother died from cancer... (i forgot which one...but it wasn't PCA)


Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 1/24/2011 7:38 PM (GMT -6)   
English Bob,

This would seem to be the case in my husbands family. His mothers father died from PCa, and her 80 year old brother was diagnosed recently. She herself is quite healthy at age 84.

Of her 10 children, 7 sons, 3 daughters, her eldest son was diagnosed with PCa about 3 or 4 years ago. My husband was diagnosed this past December at age 58. The youngest daughter died about 8 yrs. ago at the age of 40, with a very aggressive form of breast cancer. As in your case, there was no history on my husbands fathers side.

My husbands doctors feel that there is a maternal genetic link, and have suggested he be tested for the Brac 1 and Brac 2 genes down the line for the sake of our children.
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