It has long been known among medical experts for a while now that Black men are at a considerably higher risk of being falling victim to prostate cancer.
As of now, Black men are 50 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men and twice as likely to die from it. But why is that the case?
To answer the question a team led by the U-M Rogel Cancer Center analyzed data from more than 300,000 prostate cancer patients. Their findings were published in a Jama Oncology study.
The study found that Black men’s predisposition to prostate cancer likely has nothing to do with biology at all. On the contrary, it’s suspected that outside factors like societal influence and access to quality healthcare play a much more significant role.
To take matters even further, the study found that Black men are more likely to die from other health complications like heart disease that could be prevented if not for these external influences.
“The data show that black men don’t appear to intrinsically and biologically harbor more aggressive disease,” co-senior author Daniel Spratt, M.D., says. “They generally get fewer PSA screenings, are more likely to be diagnosed with later stage cancer, are less likely to have health insurance, have less access to high-quality care and other disparities that can be linked to a lower overall socioeconomic status.”
“While our job is to treat cancer, we know that these other factors are in play, so as doctors we need to make sure we focus on the health of the entire patient and, as a society, on addressing racial inequities,” he continued.
The study, which was entitled “Association of Black Race With Prostate Cancer–Specific and Other-Cause Mortality,” is the largest study of its kind and its findings could be revolutionary in fighting the impact that prostate cancer has on peoples’ lives, particularly those in the Black community.