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Hispanic men differ in risk for aggressive prostate cancer depending on their nation of origin

Hispanic men diagnosed with prostate cancer have significant variations in their risk for aggressive cancer, based on their nation of origin, and are less likely to be treated for high-risk disease, according to a new study of more than 895,000 men.

“Hispanic men in general have a greater chance of presenting with higher-risk localized prostate cancer than non-Hispanic white men,” said Brandon Mahal, MD (above), of the University of Miami.

“However, when we looked at Hispanic men by country of origin, there’s wide variation in the risk of being diagnosed with advanced disease. That’s important because it can be difficult for individuals to understand what their risk may be for aggressive cancer.”

For example, men with Mexican heritage were at greatest risk for high-grade disease when first diagnosed and were less likely to receive the most advanced care. On the other side, the risks for men of Cuban descent were much lower and more in line with non-Hispanic white men. While socioeconomic status mitigated some of these variations, distinctions based on ancestry still persisted.

“This study suggests there are different environmental, societal and cultural exposures,” said Dr. Mahal. “Some of these may be related to genetic ancestry, but it’s probably a lot more complicated than that.”