Prostate cancer has been found to occur more often in men of African descent, whether African-American or Afro-Caribbean. Dr. Samadi says, “A study from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Pennsylvania led by Dr. Kosj Yamoah indicates that black men are actually more than twice as likely to die of prostate cancer vs. their Caucasian counterparts. The reasons for the racial and ethnic disparities when it comes to prostate cancer are still unclear, but what we do know is that this silent-killer occurs less often in Asian-American and Hispanic men, compared to those who are Black or White.”
Men with a father or brother with prostate cancer are two times as likely to get the disease. Men with three relatives diagnosed with prostate cancer are nearly certain to develop prostate cancer. The exact cause of prostate cancer is not clear. Research has found that both genetic and environmental factors can play a part.
Aside from race, other prostate cancer risk factors include:
- Genetics: Men with a father or brother with prostate cancer are twice as likely to develop the disease; having 3 or more relatives with prostate cancer makes a diagnosis almost certain
- Age: More than 65 percent of prostate cancers occur in men over 65
- Weight: Obese men, those with a BMI over 30, are 33 percent more likely to die after a prostate cancer diagnosis
“And of course the race risk factor means that African American men have a 60-70% increased risk of prostate cancer over white men. Not only do African American men have the highest rate of new prostate cancer cases in the U.S., but they also have the highest proportion of aggressive prostate cancers,” says Dr. Samadi. Researchers say that targeting obesity could help reduce the number of black men affected by this cancer down.
If you don’t know much about prostate cancer, here are some key facts about the disease:
- Average age at prostate cancer diagnosis is 66
- African American men are 70 percent more likely than white Caucasian men to be diagnosed with prostate cancer
- A family history of prostate cancer ups risk significantly, especially when more than one family member is diagnosed
- Obesity and metabolic syndrome can increase risk by 57 percent; they can also signify increased prostate cancer tumor volume and recovery risks
- The PSA test is the best way to establish a prostate health baseline; Dr. Samadi encourages men to get their first PSA blood test by age 40
- Robotic prostate surgery remains a leading treatment option, with highly successful recovery and quality of life results when performed by an experienced surgeon
Patients who are newly diagnosed with prostate cancer can contact world renowned prostate cancer surgeon and urologic oncologist, Dr. David Samadi, on 212.365.5000 for a phone consultation.