• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 57s

Breast cancer genes: A guy problem?

By Ivanhoe Newswire 5:43 PM February 17, 2014

There’s currently no standardized guidelines recommended for men, but men from families with a strong history of breast and ovarian cancer should consider getting tested.

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Famous actress Angelina Jolie made headlines when she announced she was having a preventive mastectomy after testing positive for a BRCA mutation. It was a story that caught the attention of women everywhere, but women aren’t the only ones who are affected by these genes.

A year ago, Josh Newby quit his successful job at a dot-com company to care for his mom Theresa.

“It’s the greatest decision I ever made,” Josh told Ivanhoe.

Theresa had stage IV breast cancer and was in hospice until she passed away.

When she was diagnosed, she tested positive for a BRCA gene mutation. She wanted Josh to get the blood test too. His result was also positive.

“I thought, wow, I have this gene. I got to take my life a little more seriously,” Josh said.

Genetic counselor Khateriaa Pyrtel says many don’t realize men can pass the faulty gene to their daughters and women can pass it on to their sons.

“I do find that it’s often like they’re not even thinking about the men in the families. We get the same information from our mothers that we do from our fathers in terms of our genes,” Khateriaa Pyrtel, MS, CGC, Certified Genetic Counselor, Washington University School of Medicine, told Ivanhoe.

Men and women with a BRCA mutation have a 50 percent chance of passing it on. Women with the mutation are up to seven times more likely to develop breast cancer, and at least ten times more likely to develop ovarian cancer.

The risk is much lower for men. Only 2,240 cases of male breast cancers are diagnosed each year. However, men with the mutation are at a higher risk for other types of cancers including prostate, stomach, pancreatic, and melanoma.

The rule of thumb is that men should consider testing if they have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer. Josh was glad he did.

“I do hope to have children someday, and that’s very powerful information to have,” Josh said.

There’s currently no standardized guidelines recommended for men, but men from families with a strong history of breast and ovarian cancer should consider getting tested.

To learn more about Josh’s foundation, log onto www.metastaticfoundation.org.

Latest Stories

  • On-Air

    Inside the Gates: Change of command for the Army’s 4/25

    by Lauren Maxwell on Mar 24, 20:55

    A change of command ceremony on JBER Friday morning welcomed a new leader to the nation’s only Arctic airborne combat brigade. Col. Paul Larson assumed command of the Army’s 4/25 Airborne Brigade Combat Team. It’s the first assignment in Alaska for Larson, who spent the last six months in Afghanistan. When asked about the challenges […]

  • Lifestyle

    UAA unveils Alaska’s first lactation pod for nursing mothers

    by Shannon Ballard on Mar 24, 20:37

    Nursing mothers at the University of Alaska Anchorage now have a dedicated, private space to feed their babies or pump breast milk. A new lactation pod is located on the first floor of the student union, and is the first of its kind in the entire state. It features seating, shelves, electrical outlets and USB […]

  • Politics

    28 years later, Exxon Valdez still casts shadow as Alaskans weigh in on oil tax change

    by Liz Raines on Mar 24, 19:44

    Friday marked the 28th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill — and the end of a long week of debate in Juneau on big policy changes for the oil industry. Tensions leftover from the historic event have spilled over into a battle on oil tax credits. While lawmakers are welcoming of the revenue that oil […]

  • Sports

    Results: ASAA 3A, 4A high school basketball semifinals

    by Dave Goldman on Mar 24, 18:49

    Results from Friday’s semifinal games at the Alaska Airlines Center. Please check back; this story will be updated as games are completed. 3A Boys Semifinal Monroe Catholic 42 – Valdez 40 The Rams held off the Buccaneers’ late rally to advance to the title game. Valdez’ slow start didn’t help as it went scoreless in the […]

  • News

    Good Samaritan cleans graffiti from park strip train

    by Lauren Maxwell on Mar 24, 17:55

    ANCHORAGE — A good Samaritan has helped to remove the graffiti from the train that sits on the Delaney Park Strip, and it wasn’t the person who first volunteered to do the job in the first place. The graffiti was discovered Wednesday morning. Anchorage park planner Maeve Lavtar said she had instructed city maintenance crews […]

  • Sports

    Sitka basketball team returns to Anchorage after receiving national honor

    by Dave Leval on Mar 24, 17:08

      The Sitka Wolves basketball team are champions, and it has nothing to do with shooting percentage or rebounds. They made a return to Anchorage this week during the state basketball tournament. While their quest for a state title ended after a first round loss to Monroe Catholic, the Wolves were reminded of a much […]

  • Politics

    Young hails demise of health bill, wants more work on issue

    by Associated Press on Mar 24, 16:00

    The longest-serving Republican in the U.S. House says he would have voted against a GOP health care bill had it been brought to a vote. U.S. Rep. Don Young of Alaska says it was not good legislation. He says it would have hurt people on Medicaid and did not address issues with high costs. The […]

  • DayBreak

    Mic Check in the Morning: Rhythm Future Quartet

    by Daybreak Staff on Mar 24, 13:15

    Keeping the genre of gypsy jazz alive, the acoustic ensemble Rhythm Future Quartet will be touring Alaska for two weeks. Their first stop is downtown Anchorage. From there they will cross the state, going from Kodiak to Skagway. According to violinist Jason Anick, gypsy jazz is a style of music that was pioneered in France during […]