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How does my race affect my risk for prostate cancer?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

American Indians, Asians and Pacific Islanders have the lowest incidences of prostate cancer. Black men, the ethnic group most afflicted by prostate cancer, are approximately three times more likely to have the disease than American Indians, and Asian men have only a slightly higher chance than Indians. One theory as to the low incidence for Asian men—only 90 men in 100,000 develop prostate cancer among Asians—is the high level of soy in their diet, as soy products are believed to help lower the risk of prostate cancer.

In the United States, the risk of prostate cancer certainly does vary among the races. If you are an African American, your risk is dramatically higher than other men. African Americans have the world's highest rate of prostate cancer, facing a 30 to 50 percent higher risk than Caucasians and twice the mortality rate. This has prompted recommendations for African Americans to be screened for prostate cancer beginning at about the age 40 or 45, as opposed to age 50, which is generally considered the standard age to begin screening, for men who so choose. The risk of prostate cancer is intermediate among Caucasians and is lower among Asian, Hispanics, and Native Americans in the United States.

At all ages, rates are higher among African Americans than Caucasians. And prostate cancer tends to be diagnosed at an earlier age and at a later stage in African Americans than Caucasians. Survival is also related to ethnicity, with five-year survival rates of Caucasians with localized, regional, or metastatic prostate cancer being 95 percent, 87 percent, and 30 percent, respectively, compared to rates of 88 percent, 69 percent, and 23 percent, respectively, for African Americans.

African Americans have the world's highest rate of prostate cancer, facing a 30 percent to 50 percent higher risk than Caucasians and twice the mortality rate.

The risk of prostate cancer is higher in African American men compared to both white and Hispanic men. Prostate cancer is at times diagnosed at an earlier age in African American men compared to white and Hispanic men, as well.

African American men are at higher risk of prostate cancer. In this video, Simon Hall, MD, a urologist at The Mount Sinai Medical Center and director of the Deane Prostate Health and Research Center, explains another risk African American men face.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.