MAR 14, 2024 3:00 AM PDT

Association between Prostate Cancer, Elevated PSA, and Race

WRITTEN BY: Katie Kokolus

Compared to White men, Black men have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.  Additionally, Black men have a greater risk than White men of prostate cancer mortality.  Asian men have a lower risk of both prostate cancer incidence and mortality compared to White men.  We also know that Black men have elevated levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), the biomarker used for prostate cancer diagnosis. 

Since most of the data published linking race to prostate cancer and PSA levels comes from American studies, a team of researchers in England performed a retrospective study to determine the incidence of prostate cancer following an elevated PSA reading across ethnic groups. 

The researchers recently published their study in the journal Prostate Cancer.  The data used for the study came from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) Aurum dataset, which collects health records from primary care practices in the United Kingdom.  The database includes patient demographics, diagnoses, treatments, and lab tests. 

The study included 730,515 men with PSA testing results.  The analysis showed that Black men and those of mixed ethnicity had higher PSA values than White men.  This trend occurred most prominently in men over 60 years.  Following an elevated PSA, Black men experienced the highest rate of prostate cancer incidence (24.7%).  White men experienced prostate cancer incidence at a lower rate (19.8%), and the prostate cancer rate in Asian men was lowest (13.4%).  In all ethnic groups, prostate cancer incidence appeared highest in men aged 70 to 79. 

Notably, one factor observed by researchers did not appear dependent on race as the incidence of prostate cancer diagnosed at an advanced age appeared similar between Black and White men.  So, while Black men with an elevated PSA had a higher risk of prostate cancer, the chances of advanced prostate cancer diagnoses were not higher. 


Sources: Prostate Cancer, BMC Medicine

About the Author
Doctorate (PhD)
I received a PhD in Tumor Immunology from SUNY Buffalo and BS and MS degrees from Duquesne University. I also completed a postdoc fellowship at the Penn State College of Medicine. I am interested in developing novel strategies to improve the efficacy of immunotherapies used to extend cancer survivorship.
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