(BlackDoctor.org) — Prostate cancer may not be at the top of your list of topics for dinner conversation. But you might reconsider, especially if you’re a Black man.
Black men tend to have significantly higher rates of prostate cancer, and the disease tends to be more advanced and harder to cure at the time of diagnosis.
• Black men have a higher chance of dying from their prostate cancer and should therefore start prostate cancer screening with yearly PSA tests and physical exams at age 40, and even earlier if a strong family history of prostate cancer exists.
• In 2007, African American men were 1.4 times, respectively, more likely to have new cases of prostate cancer, as compared to non-Hispanic white men.
• African American men develop prostate cancer 60% more often than white men.
Now, researchers have recently identified a series of gene markers that, when present with family history of the disease, increase a patient’s risk of prostate cancer more than nine times.
They say the discovery may lead to a simple blood test to help distinguish between men with prostate cancer who need aggressive treatment and those who don’t. Overtreatment is a major concern in prostate cancer in part because the most widely used therapies — surgery and radiation — can cause lifelong side effects including impotence and incontinence.
What A High-Risk Patient May Look Like