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Prostate Cancer Still Killing Black Men
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute said for reasons still unknown, African-American men are more likely to get prostate cancer than other men and they are twice as likely to die from prostate cancer as other men.
“The goal of cancer screening is to decrease the risk of dying of the target cancer by picking it up at a sufficiently early stage,” the National Cancer Institute said. “But, there is controversy about whether the benefits of prostate cancer screening outweigh the harms.”
“Some men will die of prostate cancer even if their cancer is found early and in addition to finding prostate cancer early, screening can also find prostate cancers that never would have caused harm in a man’s lifetime. In either case, screening does not bring benefits,” the researchers said. But its critical for men, especially African American males to go to the doctor, ask to be screened, and encourage their friends to get checked out too. Prostate cancer is too serious to risk it going undetected.
Men wanting to know more about prostate cancer screening, especially if a close male relative, such as their father or brother, had the disease should ask their doctor questions such as:
- What are my chances of dying of prostate cancer if I am screened, versus if I am not screened?
- If a test indicates that I may have prostate cancer, what are the next steps?
- If I do have prostate cancer, what are my options for treatment?
- What are the potential benefits and harms associated with each type of treatment?
- Is active surveillance — waiting and watching a prostate cancer that might not grow — an option for me if screening shows that I have prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer may not cause signs or symptoms in its early stages. Ask your doctor about regular prostate cancer screening. Medical organizations differ on their recommendations for prostate cancer screening, but many advise men in their 40’s and 50s to discuss the issue with their doctors. D