It appears African-Americans are more likely to carry genes that can cause prostate cancer
The incidence rate among black men is 266 per 100,000, compared with 163 per 100,000 among white men. And the mortality rate is three to four times higher among blacks, said University of Chicago geneticist Rick Kittles. It appears blacks are more likely to carry genes that can cause prostate cancer, and to have diets that increase the risk, he said. (Eating barbecued meat increases the risk, while eating tomatoes reduces the risk.)
Except for skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. The American Cancer Society estimates about 219,000 men in the United States will be diagnosed this year, and about 27,000 will die. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men, after lung cancer.
It often is slow-growing; in older men, doctors may recommend simply keeping an eye on it.
The two most common screening tests are digital rectal exams and PSA blood tests. The American Cancer Society recommends these tests be offered yearly, beginning at age 50, to men who have at least a 10-year life expectancy. Testing should begin at age 45 for African Americans and men with a family history.
But screening tests remain controversial. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says there's not enough evidence to recommend for or against routine PSA tests or rectal exams.
Prostate cancer in younger men not unusual