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Views & Reviews Review of the Week

The new black death

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 25 November 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b5047
  1. Ike Iheanacho, editor, Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin
  1. iiheanacho{at}

    Black men are more likely than white men to develop prostate cancer, but a new film fails dismally to investigate the problem

    Frankly, it has an image problem. Unlike breast cancer, with which it’s often compared unfavourably, cancer of the prostate gland has little in the way of an “enemy” persona. By and large, it has had to do without the symbolic ribbons, T shirt campaigns, and masses of celebrity activists—influences that help to keep the “battle against breast cancer” high in popular consciousness.

    These aren’t the only reasons for the relatively low profile of prostate cancer. There’s also the fact that the gland itself can be a bit of a mystery. While it would be nonsensical to assume that a patient knows nothing about the location, form, or function of the breast, this could be an entirely reasonable start in discussions about the prostate. And then there’s the worry that common knowledge about prostate cancer might be limited to ill …

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