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African American men in North Carolina suffer from some of the world’s highest rates of prostate cancer, but it's not exactly clear why. That tip was enough to launch News & Observer reporter Jay Price on a long reporting journey that would take him to churches, barber shops and community meetings.

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While North Carolina has some of the nation’s worst rates of prostate cancer among black men, it also has some of the country’s best intellectual resources to fight the disease.

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Using barbershops as channels for reaching black men with health information is a proven public health technique, one funded by government grants and charities in parts of North Carolina.

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Dr. Adam Zolotor thinks physicians should diagnose prostate cancer based on symptoms rather than screening. Here's why.

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Dr. Adam Zolotor thinks physicians should diagnose prostate cancer based on symptoms rather than screening. "I would pose to you that a usual source of care and a trusted physician or health care provider is the No. 1 thing we can do to get men diagnosed earlier and treated earlier," he said.

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Steven Patierno, deputy director of the Duke Cancer Institute, disagrees withe the decision that screening is not helpful. He says the guidelines don't take into account prostate cancer's slow-growing nature.

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In 2011, a panel of medical experts said that men, regardless of age, should not get the long-used blood test for prostate cancer. The panel’s recommendations caused an instant uproar, with dissent coming in particular from urologists and oncologists.

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Dr. Ruth Petersen is the chief of the Chronic Disease and Injury Section of the North Carolina Division of Public Health. She talked with The News & Observer earlier this spring.

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The likelihood of black men getting prostate cancer and dying from it represent two of the biggest gaps between the health of black and white men in the United States. The gulf is particularly wide in North Carolina, where the odds of dying from prostate cancer are among the worst in the nation.

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Reuters reporter Debra Sherman shares research she's found about cancer and diet.

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