African-American Men; Prostate Cancer Risk

Men of all ages should be concerned about and aware of the signs of prostate cancer. It’s recommended that men talk to their doctors about when they should be screened based on their family history and other risk factors. Early screening is especially important if a man has one or more risk factors and is at an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.

Statistically it is a fact that men of African-American descent are at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer than white men. 19 percent of black men, almost one in five — will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Five percent of that group will eventually die from the disease. Prostate cancer is the fourth most common reason for death in African-American men.

The risk for prostate cancer in African-American Men is greater, but how much greater?

No one is certain of the reasons why black men are at an increased risk of developing and dying from prostate cancer. In part this group is more likely to die from prostate cancer in part because of delayed diagnosis and also because of limits in access to treatment. One recent study suggests that there may be a genetic link.

If there is a family history of prostate cancer for an African-American man, their risk increases dramatically. Those with an immediate family member who had prostate cancer have a one in three chance of developing the disease. This risk rate increases to 83 percent if two immediate family members have had the disease.

It’s so important to have early prostate cancer screening, and here is why:

By the time noticeable symptoms of prostate cancer appear, the cancer is likely in an advanced state so early prostate cancer screening is of utmost importance. The changes of recover increase the earlier the prostate cancer is caught.

When caught early, prostate cancer is highly treatable. Nearly 100 percent of men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer in its earliest stage will be alive five years later.

African American men should have prostate cancer screening at young age.

For African American men, routine prostate cancer screening should start at a young age; the American Cancer Society recommends that these men discuss testing with their doctor at age 45, or at age 40 if they have several close relatives who have had prostate cancer before age 65.

There are some different types of screening tests and those can include a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and/or a digital rectal exam (DRE). A family doctor can usually perform both tests.

The signs and symptoms of prostate cancer are important for all men to know. These symptoms can include urinating in the middle of the night, urinating more frequently than normal, and feeling like the bladder doesn’t completely empty. Also blood in the urine may be a sign of prostate cancer.

If men experience these symptoms it is important for them to talk to their doctor about diagnostic testing for prostate cancer.

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