April 14, 2014 13:22 ET

What Your Father's Prostate Cancer Means to You

New York Robotic Prostate Surgeon, David Samadi, MD, Helps Men Understand and Manage Familial Risk of Prostate Cancer

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Apr 14, 2014) - Family history is a known risk factor for prostate cancer and in the absence of a genetic prostate cancer test, men must use this knowledge to their benefit. Having a father or brother with prostate cancer does not guarantee that a man will also develop the disease, but it provides a valuable opportunity for vigilance.

David B. Samadi, MD, Chairman of Urology and Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, designs prostate cancer screening plans tailored to each patient's risk profile. "It is important for men to know where they stand with prostate cancer. If your father or brother has prostate cancer, particularly if you also meet other risk criteria, make an appointment with a prostate cancer specialist. For high-risk men, that relationship should start long before diagnosis," said Dr. Samadi.

In a recent review of the population impact of common familial cancers, Swedish researchers found that prostate cancer had the highest association between family history and disease risk. The assessment was based on the population attributable fraction (PAF), the preventable proportion of a disease in absence of a particular risk factor -- in this case, a family history of the cancer. Prostate cancer had the highest PAFs (13.94 percent), nearly double that of breast cancer (7.46 percent), .

Understanding your family history of prostate cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, a man's risk of developing prostate cancer more than doubles when a father or brother has the disease. Risk compounds based on the number of family members with prostate cancer and is actually greater when it occurs in a brother than in a father.

Prostate cancer risk also increases for African American men, obese men, and those who consume diets high in fat, dairy, and red meat.

"The majority of men diagnosed with prostate cancer are over age 65, but men need to start thinking about prostate health much earlier," said Dr. Samadi. "If you fall into any of the risk categories -- and especially if you fit multiple -- talk to a specialist in your 30s to map out an appropriate screening plan."

The Prostate Cancer Center at Lenox Hill Hospital specializes in prostate cancer screening and the full range of treatment options, including robotic prostate surgery. The Lenox Hill Prostate Cancer Center can be reached at 212-365-5000.

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