A large study published in JAMA Oncology was conducted to find the underlying issues of black men having a higher likelihood of prostate cancer diagnosis. The exact statistics show Black men are 2.5 times more likely to die of the disease compared to non-Hispanic white men. What is driving this disproportioned statistic? A team from University of Michigan’s cancer center examined data and factors related to more than 300,000 prostate cancer patients with the purpose to understand the driver of these numbers.
Socioeconomic, genetic, and biologic factors all proved to be important during this study. According to Dr. Daniel Spratt, Department of Radiation Oncology Chair at University of Michigan Medicine, comorbidity or other chronic diseases should also be taken in consideration such as cardiovascular disease and obesity. Black men are more likely to have both. A note to remember is according to Dr. Daniel Spratt, black men do not intrinsically and biologically harbor more aggressive disease.
After accessing data from the National Cancer Institute, Veterans Affairs health system and four randomized clinical trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, it was concluded that the health disparity associated with black men and cancer is largely due to the lack of access to quality healthcare and guideline inclusive care that are tied to complex socio-cultural inequalities.