Nav: Home

Black, white men view impacts of prostate cancer treatment differently, study finds

June 05, 2017

CHICAGO - When it comes to making decisions about which prostate cancer treatment to choose, black and white men prioritize certain treatment-related factors differently, according to a University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center study.

In a survey of 1,171 black and white men diagnosed with prostate cancer in North Carolina, researchers found that more black men were concerned about the impact that treatment would have on their daily activities, the cost of treatment, and the time it would take to both go through the treatment as well as to recover from it.

The findings, presented Monday, June 5, at the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, may offer clues as to why some black men are less likely to receive aggressive treatment for this disease.

"These differences in the perceptions of these important factors in treatment decision-making likely play a role in racial disparities in treatment selection and outcomes in prostate cancer," said UNC Lineberger's Ronald C. Chen, an associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology and study's senior author.

Prostate cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, and it disproportionately affects black men in incidence and in death. Multiple studies have also identified differences in the types of treatment men receive by race, with a 2010 study published in Journal of Clinical Oncology finding that non-white men were less likely to have surgery for prostate cancer even after controlling for multiple other factors that may affect that outcome.

"Racial disparities in prostate cancer persist despite numerous interventions," said Brittaney-Belle Gordon, a student in the UNC School of Medicine and the study's first author. "Previous research has primarily investigated biological, socioeconomic and perceptual, or bias, factors as sources of this disparity. However, very few studies have examined differences in the decision-making process."

The UNC Lineberger researchers surveyed black and white men to identify which factors they considered very important, or not very important, in prostate cancer treatment. They found that a vast majority of men of both races prioritized two factors: quality of life after treatment, and the degree to which the treatment would cure their cancer. Among men with intermediate or high-risk prostate cancer, researchers found that 94 percent of white men and 96 percent of black men considered whether the treatment would cure their cancer to be a "very" important treatment factor. For that same group, they found that 83 percent of white men and 88 percent of black men considered preserving quality of life to be very important.

However, they found some differences by race for other factors. While 74 percent of black men with intermediate or high-risk cancer considered the impact that treatment would have on their daily activities to be very important, only 58 percent of white men rated that factor as very important.

In terms of recovery time, black men were significantly more concerned: 81 percent of black men in that same intermediate/high risk group considered it to be very important compared to 50 percent of white men. Sixty-six percent of black men considered cost as being very important, compared to 32 percent of white men.

There are multiple treatment options for prostate cancer, including surgery and different types of radiation therapy, Chen said. In addition, "active surveillance" is appropriate for patients with an early, low-risk diagnosis, but is not appropriate when the cancer is more aggressive, or intermediate or high risk. Surgery and radiation are equally effective, but are different in term so of impact on quality of life, treatment and recovery time, and cost, he added.

"By understanding the diverse specific factors men take into consideration in making treatment decisions, and the most important priorities for each patient, clinical providers can better communicate, educate, and assist patients in making healthcare decisions that will best accomplish their treatment goals in the context of their priorities," Chen added.
-end-
In addition to Chen and Gordon, other authors included: Ramsankar Basak, Deborah S Usinger and Paul Alphonso Godley.

The study was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center

Related Prostate Cancer Articles:

First prostate cancer therapy to target genes delays cancer progression
For the first time, prostate cancer has been treated based on the genetic makeup of the cancer, resulting in delayed disease progression, delayed time to pain progression, and potentially extending lives in patients with advanced, metastatic prostate cancer, reports a large phase 3 trial.
Men taking medications for enlarged prostate face delays in prostate cancer diagnosis
University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers report that men treated with medications for benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) experienced a two-year delay in diagnosis of their prostate cancer and were twice as likely to have advanced disease upon diagnosis.
CNIO researchers confirm links between aggressive prostate cancer and hereditary breast cancer
The study has potential implications for families with members suffering from these types of tumours who are at an increased risk of developing cancer.
Distinguishing fatal prostate cancer from 'manageable' cancer now possible
Scientists at the University of York have found a way of distinguishing between fatal prostate cancer and manageable cancer, which could reduce unnecessary surgeries and radiotherapy.
Researchers find prostate cancer drug byproduct can fuel cancer cells
A genetic anomaly in certain men with prostate cancer may impact their response to common drugs used to treat the disease, according to new research at Cleveland Clinic.
More Prostate Cancer News and Prostate Cancer Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...