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African-Americans With Prostate Cancer More Likely to Have Family History

of Public Health.

“This is an important finding because the Flint Men’s Health Study is one of a few studies conducted exclusively in a minority population that is known to be at high risk for developing prostate cancer,” Beebe-Dimmer says. Black men are 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, regardless of family history.

Older age and a family history of prostate cancer are the primary risk factors for the disease, in both blacks and whites. A first-degree relative with prostate cancer increases a man’s risk by two to four times, and the more relatives who are affected, the more the risk increases.

“Collecting a family history of prostate and breast cancer, especially among siblings, could be a key component of assessing prostate cancer risk among African-American men. A well-documented family history may signal a need for more intense prostate cancer screening,” says senior study author Kathleen Cooney, M.D., professor of internal medicine and urology at the U-M Medical School.

“In addition, these findings give potential to identifying new genes associated with prostate cancer or breast cancer,” adds Cooney, co-director of Urologic Oncology at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Some 234,460 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, and 27,350 will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.

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