Why Every Black Man Needs a Urologist

What do you know about prostate health?

African-American males are less likely to be screened for prostate cancer than Caucasian males. However, recent data indicate the gap is lessening. To date, there are several reasons why Black men are less likely to undergo screenings for prostate cancer, like:

— Deficiencies in health literacy or knowledge regarding the need to or indications for undergoing prostate cancer screening

— Poor communication between physicians and minority patients due to a lack of cultural competency

— Lack of health insurance

— Poor access to quality care as a result

— Fear and distrust of undergoing prostate cancer screening

— Oftentimes feelings that many Black men have regarding hopelessness and helplessness

All of these collectively contribute to the fact that Black men are less often referred to undergo screenings and/or less likely to choose to be screened. Though awareness is increasing, many African-Americans are unaware of early detection methods for prostate cancer, like PSA testing.

What Is PSA Testing?

Prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in a man’s blood. The higher a man’s PSA level, the more likely it is that he has prostate cancer. For this test, a blood sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis. Serum PSA testing combined with digital rectal examination testing remains the methods of choice for prostate cancer screening.

PSA levels differ according to both the age and race of the patient. Therefore, the predictive value of PSA in the diagnosis of prostate cancer may differ between African-Americans and Caucasians. Black men, with or without prostate cancer, have been found to have higher PSA levels. Thus, physicians should have a lower threshold for referring African-American men with a suspiciously high PSA level for further urologic evaluation and prostate biopsy.

Read more about prostate health and Black men at BlackDoctor.Org.

Watch Kevin Hart in a new episode of Real Husbands of Hollywood every Tuesday, 10P/9C.

BET Health News - We go beyond the music and entertainment world to bring you important medical information and health-related tips of special relevance to Blacks in the U.S. and around the world. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.  

(Photo: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images)

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking Subscribe, you confirm that you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. You also agree to receive marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers) and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. You understand that you can unsubscribe at any time.