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By Gerardo Sison

There is a long-standing history of black men and prostate cancer disparities, as evidenced by numerous studies. Some of the factors impacting racial differences in prostate cancer include screening, diagnosis, and treatment. 

One multiple-cohort study from JAMA Oncology assessed prostate cancer outcomes and found that black men with prostate cancer faced multiple socioeconomic barriers to quality care. Among 306,100 participants, black race was linked to an increased age-adjusted risk of death from prostate cancer (subdistribution hazard ratio [sHR], 1.30; 95% CI, 1.23-1.37; P < .001). The results of this study reinforce the need for greater efforts to address social factors that contribute to racial disparities in prostate cancer.

According to a Dana Farber Cancer Institute resarch study published in JAMA, the Gleason score of the cancer may be linked to outcome disparities of black men. Racial disparities were more prominent in cancers of a low-grade Gleason 6 score. Yet, low-grade prostate cancer is much more aggressive in black men than in white men. Genomics may therefore play a part in metastasis risk and prognosis of disease.