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Other Factors: Black Men and Prostate Cancer

Cultural beliefs and stigmas about masculinity, strength and independence may also affect why prostate cancer affects Black men more. Beliefs that by acknowledging one’s illness, seeking help, having a doctor perform a physical exam, seeking treatment, or by talking to others about one’s challenges to somehow mean you are “weak”, “less of a man”, or a “burden” prevents men from seeking early screening and treatment. Taking responsibility for one’s health from an early age leads to early diagnosis and early treatment options. This leads to an improved survival rate among Black men.

Other reasons for not seeking early screening and treatment may include not trusting the medical system, decreased access to screening facilities, the cost of seeking medical care, previous experiences of racial discrimination, and health professionals not being aware of the higher risk of prostate cancer among Black men.

Black men may also be at increased risk for prostate cancer due to genetics. There is some research that suggests certain genes associated with prostate cancer are more common in Black men especially men of West African and Afro-Caribbean descent. This may also contribute to a more aggressive disease.

(Source: Vesprini, 2019)


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