Prostate Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Does Race Influence Treatment Opportunities for Men With Prostate Cancer?

By: Vanessa A. Carter, BS
Posted: Wednesday, September 29, 2021

According to Danil V. Makarov, MD, MHS, of Perlmutter Cancer Center, New York University, New York, and colleagues, treatment opportunities for prostate cancer may be impacted by a patient’s race. Published in the journal Cancer, their study, which outlined treatment disparities among Black men with prostate cancer, revealed that these patients received definitive treatment for prostate cancer far less often than individuals of other races.

The investigators gathered data on 35,427 men from the Veterans Health Administration Corporate Data Warehouse who were diagnosed with low- or intermediate-risk prostate cancer from 2011 to 2017. Patients were stratified into three groups based on prostate cancer characteristics and estimated 10-year survival. In addition, death information was obtained from the Social Security Administration.

Many patients (66%) were non-Black, and the age of most individuals (63%) ranged from 60 to 69 years. The three treatment groups were low-risk (5%), moderate-risk (44%), and high-risk (51%), with 14% of the population having a calculated 10-year survival probability below 50%. Black patients were significantly older than non-Black patients (P ≤ .001), yet they had greater levels of comorbidity (P < .001). Notably, these individuals made up 32% of cases in 2011 and 39% of cases in 2017.

Black men in the low-treatment-benefit group appeared to receive the same level of treatment as non-Black patients (25% vs. 26%), but those in the moderate-treatment-benefit group were more likely to receive treatment (P = .024). However, in the high-treatment-benefit group, Black patients were significantly less likely to be treated (P = .002). Overall, the interaction of treatment and race was significant (P < .001).

“Further research is necessary to determine the combination of patient-facing interventions in disease management education and provider-facing interventions to address systematic racial bias that will most effectively address this disparity,” the authors concluded.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

By continuing to browse this site you permit us and our partners to place identification cookies on your browser and agree to our use of cookies to identify you for marketing. Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.