African Americans & Prostate Cancer

black and white picture of young african american man( — Prostate cancer occurs when the cells of the prostate begin to grow uncontrollably and become malignant. Prostate cancer is a significant health concern in the U.S. due to its high incidence. It is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and the second leading cause of cancer death.

According to the National Cancer Institute, it was estimated in 2008 that more than 186,000 men in the United States would be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and that nearly 29,000 men would die from the disease. When caught and treated early, prostate cancer has a cure rate of more than 90 percent. African American men have a substantially higher risk of prostate cancer than white men and Hispanic men.

What are the Risk Factors?

Although the causes of prostate cancer are still not completely understood, researchers have found several factors that seem to increase a man’s risk for the disease:

• Age: More than 65 percent of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65.

• Race: Incidence rates are significantly higher in African American men than in white men.