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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

These Type of Black Men Have a Huge Chance of Getting Prostate Cancer -- Are You One of Them?

Black man with prostate cancer

Medical studies have shown that men who are overweight increase their risk of developing prostrate cancer. But a recent study by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, indicated that the risk is significantly greater among obese African-American men.

Obesity creates greater risk for African-American men

All men will increase their risk for prostrate cancer if they are obese. What was revealing about the recent study was that African-American men in particular who are obese increase their risk four times greater than African-American men who had normal weight. In addition, they are more likely to increase their risk for both low- and high-grade prostate cancer. Two specific findings include:
  • African-American men whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is below 25 have a 28 percent risk of getting prostate cancer
  • When BMI among African-American men exceeds 35 (obese), that risk increases to 103 percent

How the risk compares to men of other races

To demonstrate how great the risk is for African-American men, the study included 3,398 African-American and 22,673 non-Hispanic white men and included obesity and race in its analysis. The results clearly indicated that "obesity was not associated with risk of total prostate cancer" among the non-Hispanic white men who participated in the study.

What researchers learned from the study was that doctors need to be more aware of how prostrate cancer affects African-American men differently than white men. As researcher Wendy Barrington, PhD, explained, "The main take-home point for practicing physicians is to recognize that obesity has a different relationship to prostate cancer risk in African-American compared to non-Hispanic white men."

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