Racial disparities in prostate treatment and outcomes were addressed by Quoc-Dien Trinh, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, Co-Director of the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Womenâs Prostate Cancer Center, and Director of Ambulatory Clinical Operations at the Division of Urological Surgery at Brigham and Womenâs Hospital. Dr. Trinh focused on a conceptual framework developed for health disparities research that classifies the process into 3 phases: detection, understanding, and reduction (or elimination).1 Probably the most important phase is reducing disparities in access to prostate cancer treatment, he noted.
Several studies have demonstrated disparities in mortality between Black and White populations for all cancers, including a 36% higher mortality in Black versus White prostate cancer patients.2 Unlike some other cancers, there is no clear biologic explanation for this disparity in prostate cancer, Dr. Trinh noted. Furthermore, the gap between Black and White patients has decreased over time for most cancers, but less so for prostate cancer.
One study showed a disparity in mortality between Black and Non-Black patients on active surveillance for Gleason 6 prostate cancer.3,4 And it is possible t
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