Race, Family History Are Risk Factors

Jim Ritter, Chicago Sun-Times, June 19, 2007

Todd Stroger has at least two risk factors for prostate cancer.

His father, John, who Todd succeeded as County Board president, had the disease. And, Stroger is African-American.

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The incidence rate among black men is 266 per 100,000, compared with 163 per 100,000 among white men. And the mortality rate is three to four times higher among blacks, said University of Chicago geneticist Rick Kittles. It appears blacks are more likely to carry genes that can cause prostate cancer, and to have diets that increase the risk, he said. (Eating barbecued meat increases the risk, while eating tomatoes reduces the risk.)

Except for skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. The American Cancer Society estimates about 219,000 men in the United States will be diagnosed this year, and about 27,000 will die. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men, after lung cancer.

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