You’ve probably heard about the genes, BRCA 1 and 2 - most likely when Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy hit the headlines in May this year – or maybe more generally, in relation to risk of breast or ovarian cancer in women. Perhaps you’ve also heard about BRCA 1 and 2 in relation to prostate cancer, and the world’s first preventative prostatectomy that wasn’t? But what are the BRCA genes? Why is it such a problem when they change or ‘mutate’? And, what does a BRCA gene mutation mean for men?

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Researchers funded by Prostate Cancer UK and the Medical Research Council (MRC) have taken a crucial step forward by identifying a gene that’s potentially instrumental to the growth of both the prostate gland and prostate tumours. Scientists believe this discovery – published today in ‘PLOS ONE’ - could lead to improvements in prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment in the future.

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