‘Black men are 200% more likely to develop prostate cancer than whites’
BLACK MEN are at twice the risk of developing prostate cancer than their white peers, experts have warned.
Meanwhile men of Asian heritage have around half the chance of being diagnosed with and dying from the disease.
The research, carried out by Prostate Cancer United Kingdom (UK), revealed the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer is approximately one in eight (13.3 per cent) for white men.
However for black men it is one in four (29.3 per cent) and one in 13 (7.9 per cent) for Asian men.
And they established that the lifetime risk of dying from the disease was one in 24 (4.2 per cent) for white men, one in 12 (8.7 per cent) for black men and one in 44 (2.3 per cent) for Asian men.
It comes as a landmark study, also published today, reveals scientists have for the first time identified there are five distinct types of prostate cancer – each with its own genetic fingerprint.
And the Cancer Research UK researchers have discovered a way to distinguish between the five types, which range in severity.
The two studies, it is hoped, will improve understanding of the disease and raise hopes of better targeted care and improved survival rates.
Scientists at Prostate Cancer UK found white, black and Asian men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer all have a one in three chance of dying from the disease, independent of their ethnicity.
Their study, published in BMC Medicine, does not provide reasons for the increased risk of prostate cancer in black men, and it is not known why black men are at higher than average risk, although it is thought it could be genetic.
It cautioned that each individual man’s risk is different and will vary based on a combination of factors in addition to ethnicity, such as age, family history of prostate cancer, and body weight.
Lead author Alison Cooper said: “We already knew that black men were more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than white men, however, the data we had was fast becoming out of date.
“The study also provides important absolute risk figures to help black men better understand their risk of developing prostate cancer.
“These figures can be used for targeted awareness-raising and to help them make an informed decision about whether or not to have a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test.”
The researchers studied prostate cancer incidence and mortality data for England for the period 2008 to 2010.
They used a combination of sources including Public Health England, Office for National Statistics, and the national census, looking at a total sample size of more than 25 million men, including 102,252 prostate cancer diagnoses and 26,521 deaths due to prostate cancer.
Landmark study identifies five different types of prostate cancer
Scientists have, for the first time, identified five different types of prostate cancer tumour – each ranging in severity.
The landmark study, by researchers from the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute and Addenbrooke’s Hospital, could have important implications for how doctors treat the disease in the future.
Their findings mean clinicians will be able to identify tumours that are more likely to grow and spread aggressively through the body.
Researchers studied samples of healthy and cancerous prostate tissue, from more than 250 men.
They analysed samples for abnormal chromosomes, and measured the activity of 100 different genes linked to the disease.
As a result they were able to group the tumours into five distinct types, each with a characteristic genetic fingerprint.
This analysis was better at predicting which cancers were likely to be the most aggressive than the tests currently used by doctors, including the PSA test, and Gleason score.
But, the findings need to be confirmed in clinical trials with larger groups of men.