Why is prostate cancer more common in black men? Urology Clinics Manchester explains.
Did you know that black men have a 1 in 4 chance of getting prostate cancer as opposed to other men who have a 1 in 8 chance?
So why are black men more at risk?
In actual fact, we don’t know why black men are at a higher risk. Although we believe that it might actually be linked to our genes. Genes are sets of instructions inside every cell in our body and are inherited from our parents.
Is there a higher risk for men with mixed black ethnicity?
The answer is yes, if you have mixed black ethnicity then you are likely to be at higher risk of having prostate cancer than a man who is not black. Due to the lack of clinical data, we are unsure whether it makes a difference if it’s your mother or father who is black.
Could I be more at risk?
Typically, you would be more likely to get prostate cancer if:
- your father or brother has had it (genetic)
- you are aged 45 or over (this is because your risk increases as you get older)
- if you’re overweight or obese, you could have a higher risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer that’s aggressive (more likely to spread) or advanced (spread outside the prostate).
So what is prostate cancer and what is the prostate?
Prostate cancer can develop when cells in your prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled way. Depending on the severity of prostate cancer, sometimes we find that it grows slowly and may never cause any problems.
However, some prostate cancer grows very quickly and therefore has a high risk of spreading. At this point, we would recommend treatment to prevent problems and to stop it from spreading.
The prostate is a gland (see image below) that is present in men only. The prostate is usually the size and shape of a walnut. It sits underneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra, which is the tube men urinate (pee) and ejaculate through. The prostate’s main job is to help make semen – the fluid that carries sperm.
Does prostate cancer have any symptoms?
Most men with early prostate cancer do not present any symptoms. Therefore, we would recommend for any black man who is aged over 45, with or without symptoms should speak to a healthcare professional about their risk of prostate cancer.
One of the symptoms of men with prostate cancer may be that they have difficulty urinating. Some men with prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body might have symptoms such as pain in the back, hips or pelvis, problems getting or keeping an erection, blood in the urine, or unexplained weight loss.
Do these symptoms mean I have prostate cancer?
Not all these symptoms mean that you have prostate cancer, These symptoms can also be the cause of an enlarged prostate or prostatitis. You can find more information on these areas in our blog section.
This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.