Prostate Cancer: Black Men

Raising awareness to reduce deaths from prostate cancer in black men.

1 in 4 black men will get prostate cancer. Let's help change that statistic.

Black men over 45 are at higher risk of prostate cancer. We are supporting Prostate Cancer UK to find out why.

We are supporting Prostate Cancer UK to get men at risk of prostate cancer (men over 50, black men, men with a family history of the disease) to talk to their GP about their risk.

What is prostate cancer?

The Prostate

The prostate is a gland that is usually the size and shape of a walnut. It sits under the bladder and surrounds the urethra (which is what carries urine out of the body). It's main job is to help make semen. It grows as you get older.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer causes abnormal cells to develop in the prostate gland which creates a tumour and can sometimes spread to other parts of the body.

Sometimes the cancer will grow too slowly to cause any problems or affect how long you live. You may never need any treatment.

However, some types of prostate cancer are very aggressive and are more likely to grow and spread quickly. This seems to be even more likely in black men. This will require treatment to stop it spreading.


Most men with early prostate cancer don't have symptoms. You can check your risk using the Prostate Cancer UK Risk Checker.

If you notice changes in how you urinate, it might not be prostate cancer, but it's best to get it checked out. Early symptoms could be:

  • difficulty starting to urinate or emptying your bladder

  • a weak flow when you urinate

  • a feeling that your bladder hasn’t emptied properly

  • dribbling urine after you finish urinating

  • needing to urinate more often than usual, especially at night

  • a sudden need to urinate – you may sometimes leak urine before you get to the toilet.

More advanced symptoms or signs that the cancer has spread could be:

  • back pain, hip pain or pelvis pain

  • problems getting or keeping an erection

  • blood in the urine or semen

  • unexplained weight loss.

Again, these could all be symptoms of something else, but it is best to talk to your doctor about it especially if you have one or more risk factors.

Knowing your risk

1 in 4 black men will get prostate cancer. Black men are more likely to get prostate cancer than other men, who have a 1 in 8 chance of getting prostate cancer.

You may also be more likely to get prostate cancer as a black man if:

Most men with early prostate cancer don't have symptoms. You can check your risk using the Prostate Cancer UK Risk Checker.

There is very limited research into why prostate cancer affects black men in the way it does. Prostate Cancer UK are funding research to find out why black men are at higher risk of prostate cancer than other men. Read up about it and join the study to help us understand why black men are at higher risk.

What can you do?

Early Detection

Early detection is key. Your chances of being cured and surviving prostate cancer is greater than 90% if it is caught early. It's important you know your family history (especially if there is prostate or breast cancer in the family) and live a healthy lifestyle. You can check your risk here. It's also important that you get yourself checked out.

  • If you are 40 - 44 and have a family history of prostate or breast cancer, you can request a baseline test to help you work out your risk of prostate cancer.

  • Black men should be getting their PSA checked from the age of 45. You will need to request this.

  • All men are entitled to PSA test from the age of 50. Again, if your doctor does not suggest it, you should request it.

Healthy Lifestyle

You can't do anything about your family history, so what can you do to reduce your risk? Here are some actions you can take to reduce your risk for developing prostate cancer.

  1. A healthy diet and regular exercise are important for general health and can help you stay a healthy weight. There is strong evidence that being overweight raises the risk of aggressive (more likely to spread). Exercise can be anything from a 30 minute walk, jog or run, weights, swimming, HIIT, anything that gets your heart rate going and allows you to build up a bit of a sweat.

  2. A healthy diet low in red meat and dairy but rich in fruit and vegetables, especially green vegetables and cooked tomatoes can be helpful in keeping you healthy and reducing your risk.

  3. Vitamin D has been shown to be beneficial in helping to reduce the risk of getting cancer. Eat foods rich in vitamin D, such as oily fish (e.g. mackerel, salmon, sardines and herring), red meat, liver, egg yolks, fortified foods (breakfast cereals, spreads, tofu), or you can take a vitamin D supplement. In the UK you can also go outside between 9am and 3pm between March and September to get your vitamin D from the sun.

Find out more information on diet and physical activity on Prostate Cancer UK.

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