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Does Prostate Cancer occur in clusters?

User
Posted 17 Mar 2019 at 17:11

We live on a lane with only two other neighbours. I've only recently discovered that in all 3 homes, the eldest man in the house has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

How common is this? Is there any evidence of clustering of Prostate cancers?

One of our neighbours was metastatic at diagnosis and has since sadly died. The other was told that he had no option but surgery. My husband had a choice of RT, Surgery or Brachytherapy; he picked RT, which has recently finished but he's still on the hormones. His doctors told us that they were aiming for a cure in his case.

Is this just me, or it is rather too much of a coincidence that all 3 eldest men on my street have been diagnosed with Prostate cancer? We all moved in about 30 years ago. 

Has anyone else noticed this sort of clustering? Many thanks in advance, for any chat about this..

User
Posted 17 Mar 2019 at 19:16
Environmental issues not known to be risk factors for PCa. The clue to your question's answer is in the age of the men you mention. Most older men have some prostate cancer, which may not even be noticeable. The important thing is to test for it from age 50. The PSA test is far from perfect, but it is the best first line screen we have available so far. If those three men had not been regularly tested, then the diagnosis is unsurprising. The sooner the disease is diagnosed, the better the chance of a happy outcome.

AC

User
Posted 17 Mar 2019 at 19:27
The link may be that they were all under the same GP practice and that GP is not very proactive about encouraging male patients to have regular PSA tests. Or as AC says, it could be the age factor - 60% of men in their 60s and 70% of men in their 70s have some prostate cancer although many are never diagnosed because it doesn’t cause them any problems.

To be a true cluster there has to be a much higher prevalence rate than for the normal population and all the affected patients must have exactly the same type of cancer; as there are at least 27 known types of PCa there is no certainty that all three neighbours have / had the same type. There are some environmental factors that could affect the rate - but unless all three neighbours have lived in the street since they were young boys that is unlikely to apply in your case.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 17 Mar 2019 at 19:48
How old are the men involved, Becks? Nearly all men develop prostate cancer if they live long enough, even if most will never know it.

Chris

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User
Posted 17 Mar 2019 at 19:16
Environmental issues not known to be risk factors for PCa. The clue to your question's answer is in the age of the men you mention. Most older men have some prostate cancer, which may not even be noticeable. The important thing is to test for it from age 50. The PSA test is far from perfect, but it is the best first line screen we have available so far. If those three men had not been regularly tested, then the diagnosis is unsurprising. The sooner the disease is diagnosed, the better the chance of a happy outcome.

AC

User
Posted 17 Mar 2019 at 19:27
The link may be that they were all under the same GP practice and that GP is not very proactive about encouraging male patients to have regular PSA tests. Or as AC says, it could be the age factor - 60% of men in their 60s and 70% of men in their 70s have some prostate cancer although many are never diagnosed because it doesn’t cause them any problems.

To be a true cluster there has to be a much higher prevalence rate than for the normal population and all the affected patients must have exactly the same type of cancer; as there are at least 27 known types of PCa there is no certainty that all three neighbours have / had the same type. There are some environmental factors that could affect the rate - but unless all three neighbours have lived in the street since they were young boys that is unlikely to apply in your case.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 17 Mar 2019 at 19:48
How old are the men involved, Becks? Nearly all men develop prostate cancer if they live long enough, even if most will never know it.

Chris

User
Posted 21 Mar 2019 at 17:07
Thank you all for taking the time to answer my query.

I know that most men will have some abnormal changes in their prostate as they age. The 3 'lads' on our lane were all in their early-to-middle sixties when diagnosed. They were all brought up in different parts of the country.

As far as I'm aware, all three attend different GP surgeries.

In my own husband's case, he referred himself; although he was symptom-free. At the hospital they referred to it as the 'Stephen Fry/Bill Turnbull Effect'!

Many thanks again for your responses :)

 
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