Prostate Conditions Education Council in partnership with other leading prostate cancer advocacy organizations, announces the launch of the BRCA Blue Campaign. The campaign, which can be accessed at BRCABlue.com, is designed to raise awareness among men and their loved ones about the link between BRCA mutations and prostate cancer. The campaign is supported by Clovis Oncology with input and guidance from multiple patient advocacy and education organizations, including PCEC.
Women and men can inherit BRCA gene mutations from either parent. The mutations can also be acquired and develop over the course of an individual’s lifetime. Men with an inherited mutation in their BRCA gene have up to an 8 times increased risk of developing prostate cancer, are more likely to get the disease at a younger age and to have a more aggressive form of the cancer. A number of publications have reported germline or somatic mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 are found in 12 percent of men with metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).
“Often when people think of BRCA gene mutations they only think of breast cancer. Little knowledge exists about the important link to prostate cancer. Men need to know this information because it changes how they are treated and could allow access to new therapies in the future,” stated Wendy Poage, President of the Prostate Conditions Education Council.
From a hereditary cancer perspective, it is important for families to discuss their health history, including genetic mutations, to help family members make informed decisions to potentially improve their prognosis. According to the American Cancer Society nearly 175,000 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and over 31,000 men will die from disease in 2019. Furthermore, the five-year survival rate for mCRPC is just 30%.
“African American men are at a significant increased risk for getting and dying from prostate cancer. We are excited to participate in this campaign to raise awareness among African American men about BRCA mutations,” stated Thomas Farrington, President and Founder of Prostate Health Education Network.
BRCA Blue and its primary components are especially impactful because it is the result of a collaborative effort between a variety of partners. “Our organizations are committed to saving and improving the lives of prostate cancer patients,” stated Chuck Strand, CEO of Us TOO International and partner on this project. “We are working to ensure that men are aware that BRCA gene mutations can affect them as well as their families.”
Among more than 4,200 Americans screened to participate in a commissioned National BRCA Awareness Survey, 71% said they are unaware that there is a relationship between BRCA genes and any type of cancer. Those aged 56 and older are notably less aware than their younger counterparts, ages 18-55.
Prostate Conditions Education Council is proud to be a part of the BRCA Blue patient education campaign.