British man has healthy prostate removed to reduce cancer risk

May 22, 2013 at 12:32 AM
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LONDON, May 22 (UPI) -- A British man made a similar decision as Angelina Jolie -- once he found he had a high risk of prostate cancer he had the gland removed, doctors say.

Jolie made international headlines after she disclosed genetic testing determined she had a high risk of getting breast cancer because she had the BRCA2 gene. The actress had a double mastectomy to help prevent her from getting breast cancer.

The 53-year-old man in Britain, whose identity was not disclosed, found he had the same BRCA2 gene, which not only increases the odds of getting breast cancer, but prostate cancer as well, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The man, who is married with children, said he had several relatives who had breast or prostate cancer and he wanted to avoid their fate, so he asked his doctors to remove what appeared to be a healthy prostate, the Telegraph said.

His doctors said they hesitated to remove a prostate that showed no abnormalities because prostate removal can result in side effects such as permanent urinary and fecal incontinence as well as sexual dysfunction.

However, after they did the operation to remove the prostate, the doctors said they were astonished when they examined it and found a considerable level of undetected cancer, the Telegraph said.

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