The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a devastating plunge in the number of cancer screenings in the U.S. during the past year.
A new report anticipates a 30 percent rise in newly diagnosed cases of prostate cancer in 2021, due in part to men deferring their annual checkups because of the pandemic. This means that nearly 250,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2021, and more than 34,100 men will die as a result. Leading physicians and researchers say 2022 numbers could be even higher.
The report also found that the incidence of prostate cancer is almost 80 percent higher in non-Hispanic Black men than in non-Hispanic white men, and the death rate for Black men with prostate cancer is more than double that of men in every other group. There are multiple reasons for this disparity. Since prostate cancer is slow to develop, if it is caught early and actively monitored, men are more likely to have positive outcomes.
Addressing disparities in prostate cancer requires the ability to recognize that care inequities exist and to commit to proven efforts to provide equitable care to all patients. This is not an easy undertaking—but an essential one for any healthcare team.
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Targeted Oncology, April 8, 2022