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Prostate and Urological Health

African American Men at Higher Risk for Many Health Issues

One of the top three cancers for men is prostate cancer, which will affect approximately 30,000 African American men this year.


Brian Keith McNeil, M.D.

Chief of Urology, The University Hospital of Brooklyn

African American men have, by far, the highest incidence of prostate cancer compared to men of other ethnicities. One in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and they are more likely to get prostate cancer at an earlier age. They are also more likely to have aggressive tumors that grow quickly, spread, and cause death. The reason why prostate cancer is more prevalent in African American men is unclear, yet it may be due to socioeconomic, environmental, diet, or other factors.

Men with a family history of prostate cancer also face a higher risk of developing the disease. A man is 2-3 times more likely to get prostate cancer if his father or brother had it. This risk increases with the number of relatives diagnosed with prostate cancer. The age when a close relative was diagnosed is also an important factor. 

Being proactive

Staying on top of routine health checkups and screenings, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, can be hard enough within busy day-to-day life. But African American men fall into a high-risk group for a myriad of health concerns including prostate cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity, so it is of great value to check for these concerns on a routine basis. Download the free “Health Screenings Every African American Man Should Know” poster to learn more about basic health numbers and screenings to help African American men keep their health in check. As well as showing key timelines, this free download also reviews health numbers that can be helpful when speaking with your doctor(s) about the best health plan for you. Please download this checklist and share it with your loved ones. Knowing your risks and being proactive will help you take steps toward leading a healthier life.

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