The 12th Invest in ME Research Conference June, 2017, Part 2
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Are CFS/ XMRV +ve men are more likely to develop prostate cancer?

Discussion in 'XMRV Testing, Treatment and Transmission' started by Jill, May 7, 2010.

  1. Jill

    Jill Senior Member

    Auckland, NZ
    Has anybody any idea on this? I was asked this today by a male friend with severe ME. His uncle is fighting prostate cancer - although ofcourse we don't know whether its XMRV positive prostate cancer. This then leads onto the question of whether men with CFS should be checked for prostate cancer at an earlier age than is usual? Any comments appreciated
  2. Gerwyn

    Gerwyn Guest

    that is certainly my mother has five sisters all of who have developed breast cancer including my of my fathers brothers had a brain tumour which killed him and the other one died of prostate cancer.All other uncles died or suffered fromcardiomyopathy
  3. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

    Hi Jill,

    I don't think that we have an answer for that question yet. In my own family men without ME have prostate cancer (my own father for example). We need a study of ME families and testing for XMRV to tell us the answer.

    I'd hope that my brothers will have earlier checks for prostate cancer and my husband has said that he intends to. My cousins have also said that they will. When more widespread testing for XMRV becomes available they will get tested as well.

  4. usedtobeperkytina

    usedtobeperkytina Senior Member

    Clay, Alabama
    I would think so, (referring to original question).

    But, I think we need to look at not just men with ME / CFS, but we also need to look at those who are married to a woman with CFS, have a mother or sister with CFS, or have a child with CFS.

    Remember, you can have the virus and not have CFS. Also, hypothetically, the virus may cause other illnesses in some people (autism for example) who do not have CFS.

    Remember, the incidence of lymphoma is higher in not just CFS patients, but also those in close contact, according to Hillary's report in Osler's Web of the Incline Village outbreak.

  5. Hope123

    Hope123 Senior Member

    I would be somewhat cautious about this issue without further studies or evidence.

    Screening for illnesses before there are symptoms has been a mantra of preventative care for many years, with some good evidence to back it. But more recently, the question of who should be screened for prostate cancer and at what age has been controversial. This is partly because the data show that most men who live long enough will have prostate cancer but in many cases, it grows so slowly that they die of something else like a heart attack or stroke before the cancer ever affects them.

    Secondly, the work-up and treatment of prostate cancer is not benign. Biopsy of prostate tissue has complications and the treatments may not have the benefits of extending life but cause problems like incontinence, erectile dysfunction, etc.

    For black men or men with a family history of prostate cancer, there is more evidence to screen often and earlier. Whether this turns out to be the case for XMRV is another question. It might be interesting to go back to the records of those men who were XMRV+ on their cancers and see if any had diagnosed/ undiagnosed CFS or had family members with CFS. From talking and reading, I haven't heard of many older men with CFS who developed prostate cancer but this could also be a function of me not talking to enough people or the fact there are no longitudinal studies of CFS.

    This is from the American Cancer Society:

    Gerwyn, if your family is not aware of it, they might want to consider getting testing for the BRCA gene although I don't know if the UK allows it. Some women in the US with BRCA+ or family history have opted to have elective mastectomies to prevent cancer. BRCA mutations have also been associated with certain cancers in men although my knowledge on this is sketchier.

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