Across the globe, breast cancer is the largest incidence among women and prostate cancer, others among men, who have just crossed the lungs.
Do these types of cancer have something in common that causes so many repetitions?
Scientists have been studying the main link between them for years: mutations in gene BRCA which prevent him from doing his job.
These genes are responsible for the production of proteins that suppress the tumors that may appear in our body, helping us maintain healthy DNA.
However, in some people they have the mutations they cause stop repairing our genetic material.
And they are inherited 50%.
The result is an increased risk of cancer development, such as breast, prostate, ovarian or pancreas, among others.
It is therefore important to be aware of the types of cancer that have occurred in our family and, in the case of those mentioned above, even carry out a test to know whether we are carrying these mutations in the BRCA2 or BRCA1 genes that have similar functions.
Experts from the National Cancer Research Center (CNIO) in Spain have just discovered another reason: the vast majority of prostate cancer patients who have BRCA2 mutations suffer from one of their versions aggressive and difficult to cure, since it has metastasis.
Less life expectancy
Traditional treatment for metastatic prostate cancer begins with reduce testosterone levels, as the tumor depends on it, as explained by BBC Mundo Elena Castro, a researcher at CNIO Clinical Investigation Unit for prostate cancer.
"Sometimes the testicles are removed, although this is at least the same, but there are places where they are still doing, because they are much cheaper than to give you a quarterly injection, but it's common that castration is performed with a medical treatment," he says.
"If after some time the tumor grows, we call it resistance to castration."
From that moment, those who present a mutation to BRCA2 usually have a Surviving for 17 months compared to 33 months of those who do not.
Neither chemotherapy nor increased hormone therapy seems to work against this type of cancer, so prevention and early detection become crucial.
Castro and researchers Nuria Romero-Laorden and David Olmos conducted a study in which 419 patients with advanced prostate cancer were trained for five years. It is the first of its kind, since the rest of it was based on data review, the expert said.
After their discovery, researchers are researching whether you are a patient can benefit from therapy which are used with good results for ovarian and breast cancer.
Like carboplatin or PARP inhibitors, which contribute to cancer cell death. CNIO will begin clinical trials of plasma platelet counts in Spain, funded by the United States Department of Defense.
Important for the family
Castro considers it important that patients with metastatic prostate cancer examine whether they have BRCA2 mutations. Not just for them, but also for their male relatives, but above all for women.
The people who inherited these mutations have 30% chance of developing prostate cancer in their lives, which is relatively low if compared to with 80% chance of getting breast cancer women, "said BBC Mundo's expert.
Knowing if you are a carrier can take precautions, such as more frequent preventive reviews of these types of cancer.
Sometimes even counseling is practiced duplicate mastectomy as a preventative measure, as did actress Angelina Jolie, too removed ovaries and egg cells concerned with the history of his family.
His mother died of cancer and, in addition, genetic testing has shown that he had mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
For men, knowing that carriers can help their doctors predict that conventional treatment will not work and that the tumor is most likely to metastasize.
They will be able to choose to follow and use a different strategy, explained Castro.