Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Black men living in England have a three times higher risk of prostate cancer than white men
They also tend to be diagnosed five years younger, a study of all cases in London and Bristol found. The results cannot be explained by access to diagnostic tests, awareness of the condition or screening, the British Journal of Cancer reported. Researchers at the University of Bristol said the United States had already reported a higher rate of prostate cancer in black men. On why black men could be being diagnosed earlier, the researchers said prostate cancer at a younger age was more likely to be due to greater biological susceptibility to the disease. Study leader Dr Chris Metcalfe said this was the first evidence from Britain on differences between black and white men in rates of prostate cancer. "One of the possibilities based on anecdote was that black men may delay presentation - so the cancer gets to a later stage. If anything the evidence showed black men were presenting sooner." He added: "There's very few known risk factors for prostate cancer but it's starting to look like being of black race is a risk factor." Dr Joanna Peak, science information officer at Cancer Research UK, said prostate cancer was the most common cancer in British men. "The study indicates that there is a true biological difference between ethnic groups."