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New Study Shows 1 In 6 Black Men Will Develop Prostate Cancer


The advocacy organization ZERO Prostate Cancer recently announced that one in six Black men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime. Research from the American Cancer Society revealed that Black men are more than twice as likely to pass away from the disease than their White counterparts.

Nate Battle, who didn’t get a checkup until he was 49, says he only went because his insurance company began incentivizing preventive health screenings, and was shocked when his Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) revealed he had aggressive prostate cancer.

Battle later told CNN in an interview that he was, in fact, able to have his prostate removed and that he’s thankful the cancer was caught early, even if it was in an aggressive form.

“At my follow-up appointment, the doctor said, I had another six months before things were going to get really bad for me. That was scary to hear," Battle said in his interview.

The major racial difference has propelled health advocates such as Battle to ring the alarm and urge Black men to go and get their prostate screenings.

Recent high-profile men who also fought this form of cancer include Dexter King, the youngest son of Martin Luther King Jr., who recently passed away after a battle with prostate cancer. Additionally, in December, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had a prostatectomy done to treat prostate cancer that was discovered that same month.

Doctors and health advocates say the disparity in deaths is from a lack of access to quality health care in many Black communities and mistrust and avoidance of the health care system means Black men aren’t discussing their diagnosis with other folks. These circumstances can lead to blocks to screening, doctors said.

Having someone in the family like a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles a man’s risk of developing the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.

Professor of oncology and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Otis Brawley, said that because healthcare care facilities in marginalized Black and brown communities often have doctors with less training and fewer resources for providing high-quality care, death rates among Black men are higher.

“If you take Black men and White men who are stage II and give them equal treatment, you end up with equal outcome and equal prognosis,” Brawley said. “If you remove the insurance issues, social issues, racism issues and give everybody equal quality of care, you end up with equal outcomes.

Visit ZERO Prostate Cancer for more information on how to educate and help end the stigma of taking care of our health.

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