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African American Men and Prostate Cancer

Last updated: October 2022

In this article, I would like to discuss prostate cancer (PC) in African American men. In the United States, African American men have a higher incidence of prostate cancer compared to other racial and ethnic groups, such as white men. Further, African-American men are more likely to die from prostate cancer.1

Better screening options were developed over the past 20 years, but the these differences still remain. One has to wonder what is going on. Why are the numbers like this?

Possible reasons why...

The environment

There may be environmental reasons, such as dietary differences, chemical exposure, or other unknown factors that increase the chance of developing prostate cancer.1

Medical care

Prostate cancer is less likely to be detected early in African American men. Studies have found that, overall, African American men are less likely to have health insurance and have less access to health care.1

Mistrust of doctors

African American men are known to distrust their doctors, are unlikely to see the same doctor every time they go to the doctor, and are less likely to be screened for prostate cancer. Which leads to . . .1

African American men as patients

African-American men are diagnosed with more advanced cancer at the time they are diagnosed with PC and more likely to have other health issues (comorbidities) at the same time. And also . . .1

Underuse of care

African American men are less likely to be informed about cancer screenings and less likely to receive surgery and/or chemotherapy as treatment options.1

Care systems

Hospitals and other care clinics that mainly treat African Americans typically have fewer resources, serve higher proportions of uninsured patients, and offer lower a lower quality of care.1

In closing

I came across an article that argued against prostate cancer screening and treatment guidelines supported by the United State Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF). The authors of this article ask whether African American men need separate prostate screen guidelines.

I think there are things we can go to decrease the chances of being diagnosed with PC. We need to look at our diet. We have to either stop or cut back on the fatty foods, start eating more vegetables, and start to exercise. Most importantly, take the time to find a doctor you like and actually go to the doctor, especially if you have health insurance.

Let's start there. That can get us on our way to getting healthy and staying healthy.

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