Prostate Cancer in African American Males


Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men regardless of race or ethnicity, but it is more common in African American men than in white men ( American Cancer Society 2008). It is less common in Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, and Native American men. Several studies have reported diminished and poorer quality of life (i.e., disease-specific physical health and functional status) for African American men who have undergone standard treatments for prostate cancer when compared to white men. However, limited research is available on psychological adjustments to prostate cancer and even less is known about racial differences in psychological functioning after treatment. Problems most often reported by African American men after prostate cancer diagnosis or a radical prostatectomy are impotence, sexual dysfunction, erectile dysfunction, urinary frequency and psychological problems related to sadness, worry, nervousness, loneliness, loss, and diminished perceptions of “manhood”. Treatment for prostate cancer requires thoughtful decision making, which often is influenced by patient age at diagnosis, tumor stage, co-morbidities and treatment choice; because the type of treatment chosen may lead to adverse effects and modification in sexual behavior, especially after a radical prostatectomy.

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