Because the BRCA genes get their name from BReast CAncer and because the most famous carriers of BRCA mutation are women — Angelina Jolie, Christina Applegate and Sharon Osbourne — men often feel that BRCA genes are not relevant for them. Even men who know they may carry a BRCA mutation often discount the impact of such a mutation on their own health, focusing instead on the risk of passing a mutation to their children. But a BRCA mutation does put men at an increased risk of a variety of cancers, with the greatest increase in risk being for prostate cancer, male breast cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
For Men’s Health Month, HeritX is teaming up with The Male Breast Cancer Coalition to raise awareness about the impact of BRCA mutations in men and to raise money to prevent inherited BRCA cancers.
Unfortunately, a lack of awareness among men of increased cancer risk due to BRCA mutations can prove dangerous to their health. as many are not diagnosed with cancer until it is at a more advanced stage. Men do face breast cancer and men with BRCA mutations are at particularly increased risk of breast cancer.
As recently reported by Laura McGinley in The Washington Post, “Defective ‘breast cancer’ genes aren’t just dangerous for women. They’re also linked to aggressive cancer in men.” This story not only profiled men with breast cancer but also men with aggressive prostate cancer, which is also common in men with BRCA mutations. For more information on cancer risks in men and women with BRCA mutations check out this video from our experts.
The Male Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC), a not-for-profit patient advocacy organization, brings everyone together to educate the world about male breast cancer. They want people to be informed. Breast cancer does not discriminate and we want everyone to know “Men Have Breasts Too.”
The HeritX-MBCC Men’s Health Month Campaign is designed to raise awareness about BRCA mutations in men and the risk of breast cancer in men. More importantly, it will raise money to fund research that currently goes unfunded; research to prevent BRCA cancers in men (as well as in women).
June is Men’s Health Month. It is time to remind the men in our lives that they need to protect their own health.