Although all men are at risk for prostate cancer, African American men have higher rates of developing the disease and of dying from it than men of other racial or ethnic groups in the United States. In fact, African American men have among the highest rates of prostate cancer in the world – and the incidence is nearly 60 percent higher than in Caucasian men.*
A study published in CANCER, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society (May 28, 2013) found that African American men are less likely to participate in screening, more likely to be diagnosed with advanced cancer, have longer delays from diagnosis to treatment and are less likely to receive aggressive treatment.*
It is not known why prostate cancer is more common in African American men than in others; however, possible reasons include environment and differences in the biology of the disease in African Americans.
Factors that can also increase risk are:
- Family history. Men with a father, brother, or son who has had prostate cancer are at greater risk for developing it themselves.
- Age. As age goes up, so does the risk for getting prostate cancer.
The best weapons against prostate cancer are being aware of your own risk factors and staying vigilant about your health. Be sure to get regular check-ups and talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening for you. Appropriate screening can detect prostate cancer early and an appropriate treatment plan with a prostate cancer specialist provides the best possible outcome.