African American men have the highest prostate cancer morbidity and mortality rates than any other racial or ethnic group in the US. Although the overall incidence of and mortality from prostate cancer has been declining in White men since 1991, the decline in African American men lags behind White men. Of particular concern is the growing literature on the disproportionate burden of prostate cancer among other Black men of West African ancestry in the Caribbean Islands, United Kingdom and West Africa. This higher incidence of prostate cancer observed in populations of African descent may be attributed to the fact that these populations share ancestral genetic factors. To better understand the burden of prostate cancer among men of West African Ancestry, we conducted a review of the literature on prostate cancer incidence, prevalence, and mortality in the countries connected by the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Several published studies indicate high prostate cancer burden in Nigeria and Ghana. There was no published literature for the countries Benin, Gambia and Senegal that met our review criteria. Prostate cancer morbidity and/or mortality data from the Caribbean Islands and the United Kingdom also provided comparable or worse prostate cancer burden to that of US Blacks.
The growing literature on the disproportionate burden of prostate cancer among other Black men of West African ancestry follows the path of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. To better understand and address the global prostate cancer disparities seen in Black men of West African ancestry, future studies should explore the genetic and environmental risk factors for prostate cancer among this group.