Black men are more than twice as likely as their white counterparts to die from prostate cancer. It’s the kind of survival gap we’ve seen before. Such black-white survival divides are also common for women with breast cancer.

“One of our challenges is we don’t really understand the biological underpinnings of the higher rates that we see in black men,” says Dr. Durado Brooks, director of Prostate and Colorectal Cancers for the American Cancer Society. “This is not just African American men, but men of West African origin around the globe have higher rates of prostate cancer and are more likely to die of the cancer.”

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