Data from the National Cancer Institute have shown that African American men with aggressive prostate cancer are less likely to receive surgery or radiation therapy, compared with Caucasian men with the same cancer. For the study, the researchers compared prostate treatments for a total of 142,340 African American, Caucasian, and Hispanic men from 1992 to 1999.
The results indicated that African American men with moderate- grade cancers were 36% less likely and Hispanic men were 16% less likely to receive treatment, compared with Caucasian men. Also, the results favored Caucasian men with aggressive cancers: 50% of African American men were less likely and 23% of Hispanic men were less likely to receive treatment, compared with Caucasian men. The researchers noted that these results may explain why African Americans are more prone to die from the disease. (The findings were reported in the Journal of Urology, April 2004.)