A study led by Ronald C. Chen, an assistant professor of cancer prevention and control at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, finds a significant racial gap in the time between the initial diagnosis of prostate cancer and the time when treatment begins. The study used data on 24,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2004 and 2007. The results showed that on average, African American men began treatment seven days later than White men after they had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. For men with aggressive or high risk prostate cancer, Black men began treatment nine days later than White men.
“This study contributes to a growing body of studies demonstrating the disparities in care and outcomes among African American and Caucasian prostate cancer patients in this country,” stated Dr. Chen. “African American patients are less likely than Caucasian patients to undergo prostate cancer screening, more likely to be diagnosed with advanced cancer, have longer delays from diagnosis to treatment, and are less likely to receive aggressive treatment. All of these factors together can contribute to an increased rate of dying from prostate cancer in African American compared to Caucasian prostate cancer patients.”