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Should Black men have first PSA test 3 to 9 years earlier than White men?

Black men are more likely to develop fast-growing prostate cancers and more likely to have the cancer spread by the time the disease would have been detected without screening than in other men.

That’s the result of an analysis of government cancer data by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

That doesn’t mean all prostate cancer develops faster in Black men, lead researcher Ruth Etzioni said. “But the fraction that progresses faster is higher in this population than in the general population. And the fraction that gets prostate cancer is also higher.”

If we know that the cancer is more aggressive in African-American men, it suggests that they should be screened more often, she said. “And maybe we want to start screening them at a younger age.” 

Etzioni and her colleagues said their new findings suggest that black men should have their baseline PSA tested at least three and up to nine years earlier than men in the general population.

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