Frequently asked questions about a Black man's risk

If you’re worried about prostate cancer or other prostate problems call our Specialist Nurses.

1. What is my risk of prostate cancer?

1 in 4 Black men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives.

2. Who do you mean when you say ‘Black’ men?

The 1 in 4 lifetime risk was worked out using information about men recorded as ‘Black African’, Black Caribbean’ and Black Other‘. We did not include ‘Black mixed’ as there was not have enough data about this group in the records.

3. Why do Black men have a higher risk of getting prostate cancer?

We still don't know why, but it might be linked to genes.

Higher rates of prostate cancer are seen in men of African descent across the UK, US, Caribbean and West Africa, and this suggests a genetic link between these men and their prostate cancer risk.

4. How many Black men are diagnosed, or living, with prostate cancer?

There are over 330,000 men living with and after prostate cancer but we don't know how many of these are Black men, as there isn't enough data on patient ethnicity.

5. Having a father or brother with prostate cancer means you are two and half times more likely to get prostate cancer. What does this mean for a Black man – who is already at higher risk?

The 1 in 4 lifetime risk is an average risk and applies to all Black men regardless of whether they have a relative with prostate cancer or not. This is because the data used to calculate this risk included Black men who have close relatives with prostate cancer, and those who don’t. So the average lifetime risk remains 1 in 4, but each man’s individual risk might be slightly higher or lower than this average, depending on his age and family history.

6. What should I do next?

Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50 and your risk increases with age. Black men may get prostate cancer at a younger age, so if you're over 45 and are worried about your risk, see your GP or speak to one of our Specialist Nurses.

7. What is Prostate Cancer UK doing to help Black men?

Prostate Cancer UK provides information and support to all men affected by prostate cancer.  We are looking into how prostate cancer impacts on the Black community and why Black men are more likely to get prostate cancer.

We are also working closely with the Black community to raise awareness of prostate cancer.

Last updated: July 2015