Black men less likely to get the best prostate cancer treatments

By Robert Preidt
Health Day reporter

TUESDAY June 29, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Black American Veterans With Aggression Prostate cancer who would benefit from surgery or radiation are less likely to get these treatments than men of other races, despite having equal access to health care, a new study finds.

“Despite great advances in prostate cancer care over the past decades, racial disparities in care persist, and much remains to be done to better understand why this is happening and what we can do to finally close it. ‘gap,’ the lead researcher said. Dr. Danil Makarov, urological surgeon at the Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone, New York.

For the study, researchers analyzed the medical records of more than 35,000 men treated for prostate cancer by the US Veterans’ Health Administration from 2011 to 2017. Most were over 60 and had no other. serious health problem.

The investigators found that black patients were 5% more likely to receive radiation therapy or surgery than other patients, and that patients of all races considered likely to benefit from the treatments were 40% more likely to receive them than those who did not. who didn’t need it.

But black men most likely to benefit from surgery or radiation therapy (those with aggressive prostate cancer who were otherwise healthy) were 11% less likely to receive the treatments than others. men of the same age and severity of cancer, the researchers said in a press release from NYU.

The results were published online June 29 in the journal Cancer.

Study co-investigator Dr Joseph Ravenell said: “Our study suggests, for reasons that remain unclear, that black men who need treatment may choose prostate cancer therapies. the most beneficial (which are often more “Beneficial” treatments are not offered to them as aggressively as to non-black patients. ”

Ravenell, who is associate dean for diversity and inclusion affairs at NYU Langone, noted that previous studies have shown that some black men may be more concerned than non-black patients about the side effects of aggressive treatments, including the risk of incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

Makarov added: “Our results strongly indicate that patients and physicians should discuss their fears, values ​​and preferences when considering all treatment options relevant to prostate cancer.”

The study also confirmed previous research showing that black men are likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer two years earlier than men of other races – and more likely to be diagnosed with more aggressive cancer. .

Previous research shows that black American patients with prostate cancer are three times more likely to die from the disease than non-black patients.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more on Prostate cancer.

SOURCE: NYU Langone Health, press release, June 29, 2021

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