The Surprising Way Black Men Can Lower Their Prostate Cancer Risk

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Thoughtful businessman on the street, looking ahead of him

According to the CDC, prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death among men, with over 913,000 new cases and over 261,000 deaths worldwide each year.

According to the U.S. Department Of Health & Human Services:

  • Black men are nearly twice as likely to have new cases of prostate cancer, as compared to white men.
  • Black men are 2.5 times as likely to die from prostate cancer, as compared to non-Hispanic white men.

Is There A New Secret To Prostate Cancer Survival?

Did you know that the leading cause of illness and death in U.S. men with prostate cancer is actually cardiovascular disease?

According to Mayo Clinic, recent research indicates that cholesterol levels can correlate with a man’s prostate cancer risk. The higher your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and the lower your HDL (“good”) cholesterol, the higher your risk of prostate cancer.

Also, Mayo Clinic found that men who took statins — drugs used to lower cholesterol — were less likely to develop prostate cancer, compared to men who did not take statins.

In this study, researchers followed 2,447 men for more than 15 years. Of the statin users, six percent were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Comparatively, non-statin users were three times more likely to develop prostate cancer, suggesting statin use may prevent development of prostate cancer.

While it is not known whether this is a direct result of the drug or the results of the drug’s lowering of the cholesterol, or a combination that might include adaptation to a heart-healthy lifestyle, current research appears to indicate there is some correlation between heart health and a lower risk of prostate cancer.

What Does This Mean For Black Men?

With these findings in mind, Mayo Clinic recommends that men engage in heart-healthy lifestyles:

• Exercise at least 150 minutes each week
• Stop smoking
• Manage stress
• Eat a healthy diet

And That’s Not All…

According to Mayo Clinic, an annual prostate checkup may not reduce your risk of cancer or other prostate disorders, but it can help – early detection and diagnosis is key to survival. If a prostate problem develops, tools like a digital rectal exam and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test may discover the problem in its earliest stage, when treatment can be most effective.

In addition, if an exam reveals an enlarged prostate, two drugs — finasteride and dutasteride — both have been shown to prevent the progression of benign (noncancerous) enlargement of the prostate and its associated symptoms and, potentially, can also lower a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer.

For more information about prostate cancer, visit www.mayoclinic.org.

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