Health Advice



Mayo Clinic Minute: What Black men need to know about prostate cancer

Sonya Goins, Mayo Clinic News Network on

Published in Health & Fitness

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. It's one of the leading causes of cancer death among all men. However, Black men are disproportionately hit hard by the disease. One in 6 Black men will develop prostate cancer in his lifetime — compared to 1 in 8 in other men. They are also more than twice as likely to die from prostate cancer.

Dr. Cassandra Moore, a Mayo Clinic oncologist, explains what Black men need to know to reverse the disturbing trend.

Black men harshly impacted by prostate cancer

Men often don't talk about health issues that occur below the belt, but maybe they should.

"It is the most common cancer in men outside of skin cancer, and it's the second most common cause of cancer deaths in men," says Dr. Moore.

It's unclear why Black men are harshly impacted by prostate cancer. There are likely many contributing factors, such as genetics, diet, environment, access to care and racial bias.


"There are studies that show that African American men are less likely to be offered treatments, be offered even clinical trials," says Dr. Moore.

Knowing your family history is important. Black men and those with a family history of prostate, breast, colon or ovarian cancer should consider getting screened for prostate cancer starting at age 40.

"The BRCA gene, BRCA1 and 2, play a role in prostate cancer," explains Dr. Moore.

Maintaining a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, limiting red meats and processed foods, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising are beneficial in reducing prostate cancer.

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