Black men are two times as likely to die of prostate cancer as White men, NBC News reports.
Government scientists announced Tuesday that will try to figure out why there’s such a vast difference in prostate cancer-related deaths by obtaining samples from 10,000 prostate cancer patients and examining factors such as genes, stress and segregation to see whether they play a factor, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Ned Sharpless, director of the National Cancer Institute, said in a statement, “Understanding why African-American men are more likely to be diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer than men of other racial and ethnic groups is a critical, unanswered question in cancer disparities research.”
More than 160,000 American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year, killing about 29,000 a year, reports NBC News.
“African-American men have about a 15 percent chance of developing prostate cancer in their lifetimes, compared to about a 10 percent chance for white men, and African-American men are more likely to be diagnosed with aggressive disease,” the NIH said in a statement.
Black men are at a 4 percent risk of dying from the disease compared with 2 percent for White men, the report states.
“No group in the world is hit harder by prostate cancer than men of African descent, and to date, little is known about the biological reasons for these disparities, or the full impact of environmental factors,” Dr. Jonathan Simons, CEO of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, told NBC News.