Newswise — PHOENIX -- A Mayo Clinic study reviewed data on more than 290,000 men with prostate cancer from the past 20 years and found that African-American men are at increased risk for poorer survival rate following prostate cancer treatment compared to other minority groups. The study was recently published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
Researchers say that it has long been known that the survival rates of African-American men are less than Caucasian men but there was less information about other minorities such as Hispanics and Asians. Using data from the National Cancer Institute, the researchers used consistent clinical parameters among the groups and found that the survival rates for Hispanics and Asians were about the same as Caucasian.
“Theoretically, if all clinical and demographic variables are the same and people have similar access to treatment, they should have the equal survival rates,” says Mark D. Tyson, II, M.D, a urologist at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. “We found that is not the case.”
Dr. Tyson said the research team believes that the disparity can be attributed to post treatment factors. He said the next phase of the research will examine what post treatment factors contribute to the survival rate. He said that it is important for both physicians and patients to know that the disparity exists and there could be a variety of reasons why. “What we do know is that with all other things being equal there is still this disparity… and the study really points to that post treatment period,” Dr. Tyson says. “The message that patients and clinicians can take away from this study is that patients need to be followed closely particularly if they are of African-American descent.” ###About Mayo Clinic Recognizing 150 years of serving humanity in 2014, Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit 150years.mayoclinic.org, www.mayoclinic.org and newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org.