There is clear evidence that the African American male is nearly twice as likely to develop prostate cancer compared to the white male. Indeed the highest rate of prostate cancer in the United States is found in African American men.
Additionally, African American men are also most likely to suffer from drug side effects from prostate cancer treatment than seen in white men such as incontinence. It has also been documented that African American men with prostate cancer are most likely to be dissatisfied with their doctor’s support compared to white men.
There are a number of reasons why the African American male community have a higher prevalence of prostate cancer disease. Researchers have suggested some of the following reasons for this:
* African American men’s negative attitudes and distrust of the prostate cancer screening tests together with health care may contribute to the fact that when prostate cancer is diagnosed, it will be in the more advanced and inoperable stage in the African American men.
* They have limited or less access to health care and this is also believed to be a contributory factor. A large number do not have health insurance and this means that African American men do not always receive the preventative health care assessments that they require.
* Nutritional and environmental factors are also thought to play an important role. Although black men in Africa do have a high rate of prostate cancer, they do not appear to have as high a rate of prostate cancer compared to that of black men in the United States. It is also thought that lower levels of vitamin D and a difference in genetics may also contribute to higher rates of prostate cancer in African American men.
It is recommended that African American men aged over 40 years should undergo prostate cancer screening test on an annual basis. This screening should include a Prostate specific Antigen Blood test, commonly known as PSA. A Digital Rectal Examination or DRE should also be performed. This involves a gloved finger being inserted into the rectum to feel for any unusual growths on or around the prostate gland.
Those men who have prostate cancer in their family are at a greater risk of developing prostate cancer. It is advisable that African American men ascertain how many family members have suffered with prostate cancer before passing this information onto your doctor. Prostate cancer that is caught early provides men with greater chances of survival and living a normal life.
It is essential that African American men receive regular prostate health check-ups as these can save lives. Men should eat a healthy diet which includes ample fruit and vegetables. Exercise is also essential, although one should seek professional advice before embarking on an exercise regime.
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