Why Does Prostate Cancer Affect Black Men Differently?

older-man-gymProstate cancer is the most common cancer in American men and African American men have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world, with incidence rates and mortality rates twice that of Caucasian men.

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Genetics

“Why do African American men have a higher incidence of prostate cancer?” Some have proposed that it may be a function of genetic or hereditary factors. African American men have been shown to have significantly higher levels of testosterone compared to Caucasian men. Because prostate cancer is stimulated by testosterone production, this higher level of testosterone in African American men may lead to a higher incidence of prostate cancer.

However, factors other than hereditary factors may also contribute to the higher rates and more aggressive forms of prostate cancer observed in African American males.  There may be common environmental exposures that lead to higher rates of prostate cancer.