Melbourne, May 19 : A mutant gene already known to increase the risk of ovarian and breast cancer also substantially raises the risk of aggressive prostate cancer say researchers in Australia.
The mutation is in the BRCA2 gene that controls part of the human body's defence against cancer.
Scientists at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and statisticians from the University of Melbourne, say that a mutation in this gene increases the risk of aggressive prostrate cancer by almost four times.
The boffins also stated that a third of men with the mutation will get prostate cancer as a result by the age of 70, and one in ten will most probably die as a result of it.
Researchers have also found that one in 500 people carry the mutation, and that it can be inherited by their children.
"This is a detective story. We estimate there are 2000 men in Australia who have this mutation and may die of prostate cancer. It is a tremendous challenge to work out what to do now - it opens up a whole new area of research," theage.com.au quoted Professor John Hopper from the university, as saying.