African-American men are more likely to develop and die from prostate cancer than are European-American men; yet, factors responsible for the racial disparity in incidence and mortality have not been elucidated. Socioeconomic disadvantage can lead to psychosocial stress and may be linked to negative lifestyle behaviors. Regardless of socioeconomic position, African-American men routinely experience racism-induced stress. We propose a theoretical framework for an association between psychosocial stress and prostate cancer. With the context of history and culture, we further propose that psychosocial stress may partially explain the variable incidence of prostate cancer between these diverse groups. Psychosocial stress may negatively impact teh immune system leaving the individual susceptible to malingnancies. Behavioral responses to psychosocial stress are amenable to change. If psychosocial stress is found to negatively impact prostate cancer risk, interventions may be designed to modify reactions to environmental demands.
Ellison, Gary L.; Coker, Ann L.; Hebert, James R.; Sanderson, Maureen; Royal, Charmaine D.; and Weinrich, Sally P., "Psychosocial Stress and Prostate Cancer: A Theoretical Model" (2001). CRVAW Faculty Journal Articles. 101.