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. However, for men who do not have regular and equal access to the healthcare system, it is less likely that their cancers will be detected at an early, more manageable stage.
This project will join other ACCC initiatives that are addressing inequities in cancer care, including increasing the representation of minorities in cancer clinical trials and eliminating disparities in access to precision medicine. ACCC will recruit from its membership four practices of varying resource levels, each of which will share its work overcoming a specific disparity in care for their patients with prostate cancer. The practice profiles created by this project will be used to provide similar cancer programs a practical model for tackling disparities in care.
For more information about this project, please contact Rukiya Wongus, Program Manager, ACCC Provider Education.
It is well documented that some populations have worse prostate cancer outcomes than others. Addressing these disparities in a clinical practice setting requires the ability to recognize that inequities in care exist and to commit efforts to provide equitable care to all patients.
To address this challenge, ACCC conducted focus groups with four cancer sites that have developed or are developing strategies to overcome disparities in prostate cancer care. These conversations revealed practical strategies for providing equitable care that can help improve early detection and care for vulnerable patients.
Special thank you to the cancer program staff who graciously contributed their time to this publication:
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.
Prostate Disparities Resource Library
With the guidance of its Advisory Committee and Partner Organizations, ACCC has developed a curated resource list that incorporates publications, tools, and other assets that can help cancer programs reduce disparities and improve early detection and care for vulnerable patients with prostate cancer.
Supported by an educational grant from AstraZeneca.
Supported by an educational grant from Merck.