Prostate cancer: Prevalence and treatment in African men
Epidemiological data from the United States of America (USA) indicate that the incidence and mortality of prostate cancer is higher among Black African-American men (AAM) than among White (Caucasian) American men (CAM). Earlier studies suggesting that prostate cancer is relatively rare among indigenous Black men in Africa are probably flawed by underreporting because recent studies indicate that the incidence rates among Black men are similar to those of White men living in Africa. The higher incidence of prostate cancer among AAM has been ascribed to racial differences in genetic susceptibility, dietary factors, or androgen metabolism. However, it may also be due to registration artefacts because in Africa the reported incidence rates of prostate cancer in different countries correlate directly with the per capita gross national product, suggesting improved access to medical facilities is responsible for higher reported incidence rates. The greater prostate cancer mortality among AAM may result from higher tumour grade and stage and higher serum PSA at presentation, but it has also been suggested that prostate cancer is biologically more aggressive in AAM than in CAM. However, recent studies indicate that tumour grade and stage and serum PSA at presentation are similar in the races, with no difference in survival after multivariate analysis controlling for pretreatment cancer severity. This suggests that the higher prostate cancer mortality among AAM results from socio-economic factors and limited access to healthcare. Black men living inside as well as outside of Africa still tend to present with locally advanced or metastatic prostate cancer due to lack of early detection programmes. © 2005 WPMH GmbH. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.