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Black men develop prostate cancer 60% more often than white men. In addition, they have a higher chance of dying from it. Because of this heightened risk, Black men are encouraged to start prostate cancer screening early with yearly PSA tests and physical exams at age 40, and even earlier  if they have a strong family history of prostate cancer exists.

This is a lesson that the preeminent Colin Powell knew very well.

“When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer at 66, I  wasn’t terribly surprised or shocked,” says Powell, a retired four-star United States Army general, 65th United States Secretary of State, and former National Security Advisor, Commander of the U.S. Army Forces Command, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “For the five years before that, I had been going for very regular checkups and my PSA was always high. It floated up and down. PSA alone doesn’t  indicate cancer, it just says something is going on.”

Thankfully, Powell had the knowledge he needed to deal with this challenge, in addition to the understanding that cancer doesn’t care about reputation. In fact, Powell had been tracking and preparing for the diagnosis for several years. He was so diligent about watching for potential issues with his prostate that he had already gone through two biopsies before the third turned up positive for cancer.

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