Comparison of Cancer Death Rates between African Americans and Whites, US, 2005-2009

African American White Difference Rate Ratio


31.4 2.44

Rates are per 100,000 and age adjusted to the 2000 US standard population. †Difference is the rate in African Americans minus the rate in whites. ‡Rate ratio is the unrounded rate in African Americans divided by the unrounded rate in whites.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as provided by the SEER program in the SEER*Stat database

African American men are 1.6 times more likely to develop prostate cancer than whites and 2.6 times more likely than Asian Americans.  Incidence refers to each diagnosed case.  Incidence does not directly relate to death. In fact, even among African American men, prostate cancer may not be the diagnosed man’s ultimate cause of death.

Prostate cancer incidence and mortality in the United States by race

Race Incidence* Mortality*
All races 159.3 25.6
White 153.0 23.6
African American 239.8 56.3
Asian American and Pacific Islander 91.1 10.6
American Indian and Alaska Native 76.1 20.0
Hispanic 133.4 19.6
*Per 100,000 men
SOURCE: Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database, 2002– 2006, National Cancer Institute

International Incidence Rates:

International prostate cancer incidence rates in black men do not easily compare because of differences in detection pathways and data collection. But, across the world, black men have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer and at younger age then white men.

Aus G, et al, Eur Urol 48: 546–551 (2005) EAU guidelines on prostate cancer. Eur Urol 48: 546–551

Edwards BK, et al, (2005) Annual report to the nation on the status of cancer, 1975–2002, featuring population-based trends in cancer treatment. J Natl Cancer Inst 97(19): 1407–1427

Ferlay J, et al, DMGLOBOCAN 2008, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 10. accepted 2010

Parkin DM, et al, (2003) Cancer in Africa: Epidemiology and Prevention. 1st ed. IARC Scientific Publications: Lyon (France), No. 153

Delay in Treatment Initiation:

Based on data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare registry, African American men take seven days longer than white men to initiate treatment after diagnosis. African American men with advanced stage prostate cancer take nine days longer than white men with similar staging.

William A. Stokes, et al Racial differences in time from prostate cancer diagnosis to treatment initiation. Cancer, 2013