A genetic-screening test could soon provide a detection tool for men similar to the testing used to ferret out early breast cancer in women, the scientists from the Institute of Cancer Research in London said.
"I can see in two to three years offering screening to men with prostate cancer and to men worried about their family history," researcher Dr. Zsofia Kote-Jarai told the BBC.
The test would specifically determine who is susceptible to the more-aggressive forms of prostate cancer and those who could be treated less aggressively and avoid the side-effects of preventive surgery.
The BBC said more than 40,000 men in the United Kingdom alone are diagnosed annually with prostate cancer. Many opt to have their prostates removed right away rather than risk further monitoring.
The screening would reveal the 14 genetic mutations that signal the patient was at a greater risk for aggressive prostate cancer. The mutations include the infamous BRCA gene, which is linked to ovarian and breast cancer in women.
The findings were published this week in the British Journal of Cancer.