Academy award winning actor Louis Gossett Jr., 73, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Fortunately, the Officer and a Gentleman actor’s cancer was detected early and he is expected to make a full recovery. Gossett says he is going public with his diagnosis to highlight the lack of emphasis in the African-American community on preventive examinations and early treatment.
It is well known that prostate cancer is more common in African-American males than in white men. However, the debate has been whether the increased risk is due to a more aggressive type of prostate cancer, or due to a lack of screening and delayed treatment in African-American men. According to the American Cancer Society, the latter may be the case. They sited two studies: The first showed the rate of rise of PSA (prostate specific antigen- a blood marker for prostate cancer) were the same in all men, regardless of ethnicity, in cancer recurrences. The second showed that in situations where there are no differences in screening rates (such as in military facilities), there were dramatic improvement in results for African-American men when they received early detection and treatment. For more details on these studies, click here.
For other stories we have done on various aspects of prostate cancer, see:
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