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Study Reveals Prolonged Gap Between Prostate Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment for African Americans

TOP - Daily

Researchers assessed racial discrepancies in prostate cancer treatment timing

In the first published population-based study of racial differences in prostate cancer treatment delay, results indicate that, on average, African American men experience a longer wait time between prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment than do Caucasian men.

Study team leader Ronald Chen, MD, MPH, assistant professor with the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and colleagues used data from Medicare patients to evaluate the management of 2506 African American and 21,454 Caucasian patients diagnosed with early prostate cancer from 2004 to 2007.

According to study results, African Americans, on average, experienced an extended delay in treatment equal to 7 days. Moreover, among patients with a “high-risk” prostate cancer diagnosis, African American patients experienced a delay that was 9 days longer compared with Caucasians.

Chen said, “Other studies have shown that African American men are less likely to get screened, they get diagnosed with more advanced cancers, and they are less likely to get aggressive treatment when they are diagnosed. Now we have shown that African American patients also wait longer for treatment. I think all of these disparities together add up to contribute to a worse long-term survival outcome for African American patients.”

The study was published online in Cancer.

Source: UNC Healthcare.