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According to the results of a study published in the journal Cancer, Asian men (with the exception of South Asian and Vietnamese men) have significantly better prostate cancer survival than White men.

The prostate is a gland of the male reproductive system. It produces some of the fluid that transports sperm during ejaculation.

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer (other than skin cancer) in U.S. men; an estimated 218,890 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007.

Prostate cancer outcomes vary by race. African-American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than White men, and also have worse survival once the disease develops. Less is known, however, about patterns of prostate cancer mortality in specific subgroups of Asian men.

To describe prostate cancer survival among Asian men, researchers conducted a study among men diagnosed with prostate cancer in California between 1995 and 2004. The study focused on non-Hispanic whites and six subgroups of Asian men (Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, South Asian, and Vietnamese). The South Asian group included people who traced their ancestry to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan.

• Compared to White men, Asian men tended to have worse stage and grade of prostate cancer at the time of diagnosis.

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• In spite of these unfavorable prognostic factors, Asian men tended to have better survival than White men. In analyses that did not account for stage or grade of prostate cancer, only South Asian men had worse survival than White men. Ten-year risk of death from prostate cancer ranged from 8.1% among Japanese men to 16.4% among South Asian men. Risk of death among White men was 12.0%.

• After accounting for differences between groups in stage and grade of prostate cancer and other prognostic factors, the groups of Asian men who had significantly better survival than Whites were Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, and Korean. Risk of death among South Asian and Vietnamese men was not significantly different from the risk among White men.

The reasons for the better prostate cancer survival among several subgroups of Asian men are uncertain but may include hormone levels, diet, body weight, or overall health.

References:

1.American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2007. Available at: (Accessed August 17, 2007).

2.Robbins AS, Koppie TM, Gomez SL, Parikh-Patel A, Mills PK. Differences in prognostic factors and survival among white and Asian men with prostate cancer, California, 1995-2004. Cancer [early online publication]. August 13, 2007.

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