A quick glance at any of the literature will tell you that black men are more likely to die from prostate cancer than white men and most of the statistics agree that the risk for African-Americans over two and a half times that of white Americans. But are these statistics misleading?
It is known that there are differences in disease rates between different countries and that, for example, America has the highest rate of obesity of any country and Japan the lowest. ButThis has very little to do with the passport or hold the color of your skin and a lot to do with your diet. So why is it that African Americans and white Americans differ so much when it comes to prostate cancer deaths, since they are both members of a common society?
Well, the answer can only lie in a study conducted recently, a mixed race group of 337 men aged between 40 and 75 from North Carolina, from 2001 to 2004 diagnosed with prostate cancerCancer.
The study identified a number of factors including family history, screening, symptoms, treatment, the presence of other medical problems, access to medical care, the men’s relationships with their doctors, their attitudes towards health and health care providers, was employment, income and whether the men had health insurance.
The study showed that earned more than half of black men under $ 40,000 a yearcompared to less than one quarter of the white men who fell in this income group. The study also found that black men are more likely to blue-collar jobs have to be trained to a lower level in order to have additional medical conditions and are unemployed as a result of illness or disability.
The study also found that only three percent of white men had no health insurance, as compared to eight percent of all black men and one third of white mensome form of supplemental Medicare coverage, compared with seventeen percent of all black men.
Perhaps most interesting in the study reported that both black and white men were equally well informed about the risks arising from prostate cancer and the need for treatment, but showed the black men, a greater sense of responsibility for their own health and were less likely, to trust their doctors. In fact, many of their doctors were suspicious and feltthat their decisions more on the cost of treatment, rather than done on the patient’s needs.
On the important issue of screening for prostate cancer, black men were less likely to have regular check-ups, digital rectal examination or PSA blood tests