African American men are 1.8 times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 2.2 times more likely to die from prostate cancer than white men. Black males also have a slightly higher risk of being diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. However, the good news is that Black men have a 97 percent survival rate upon being diagnosed with prostate cancer. When caught early, the survival rate jumps to 100 percent.
Something else that may help the chances of men who have advanced prostate cancer is obesity. A new preliminary study suggests that men that are obese have a survival advantage, although doctors warn against it because it can lead to other health complications.
Researchers in Italy found that among men with prostate cancer that had spread throughout the body, those who were obese were less likely to die over the next few years.
The study found that about 30 percent of obese men were still alive after three years of prostate cancer. Only 20 percent of men that were of normal weight or slightly overweight were alive.
Researchers stressed that no one is advising men to pack on pounds as a defense against prostate cancer: Obesity is associated with a higher risk of developing and dying from various chronic illnesses, including a number of cancers.
But over the years, some studies have found that cancer patients with a higher body mass index (BMI) tend to survive longer — a phenomenon sometimes called the “obesity paradox.”
The new findings hint that the paradox might also apply to advanced prostate cancer.
However, one expert not involved in the study urged caution in drawing conclusions.