African American men are at an increased risk for developing prostate cancer over white men and other men of color. One in six African American men will develop prostate cancer in his lifetime.
Overall, African American men are 1.8 times more likely to be diagnosed with—and 2.2 times more likely to die from—prostate cancer than white men. African American men are also slightly more likely than white men to be diagnosed with advanced disease.
While there is no clear reason for these differences, several factors can impact cancer risk and outcomes in the African American community. Because of historical context, race in the United States is correlated with socioeconomic status, and lower socioeconomic status is correlated with increased cancer risk and poorer outcomes.
African American men may also be harmed by racial bias in preventive care, as they are less likely than white men to be offered the option of having a PSA test, and are more likely than white men to be told that the benefits of the PSA test are uncertain.
Additionally, a recent study found that African American men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer were less likely than white men to receive any type of treatment for that cancer.
See “African Americans and Prostate Cancer” on the Zero Cancer website