Prostate cancer exhibits one of the widest racial and socioeconomic disparities among all cancers affecting men. New research challenges the long-standing view that Black men may be more biologically or genetically prone to prostate cancer.
A paper published in the journal Cancers finds that most of the disparity in prostate cancer survival between White and Black men (nearly 75 percent) could be attributable to social or clinical differences, such as Black men are at later stages when they are treated, are more likely to be uninsured, or receive different treatments.
Senior author Sean Clouston, PhD, from Stony Brook Medicine, points out that these findings should initiate further research to compare the biological risks of prostate cancer in Black men with socioeconomic barriers and differences between White men and other ethnic groups.
The findings stem from a survey and statistical analysis of nearly 240,000 prostate cancer patients and their 5-year survival rates. The vast majority (94 percent) of those men in these records survived 5 years, but poverty and lower education levels were still associated with more severe disease outcomes and death.
Clouston adds that the findings call for the need for tailored interventions to address these disparities. Public health initiatives to decipher socioeconomic issues related to prostate cancer disparities, such as screening access and availability of the best treatments, will further inform communities on how to reduce prostate cancer risk.