According to a recent study that was carried out between 2011 and 2017, Black males in the United States demonstrate the lowest utilization of novel hormone therapy (NHT) for prostate cancer when compared to other racial and ethnic groups. This is the case even though they have Medicare Part D insurance.
A much more significant percentage of Black men are diagnosed with prostate cancer (PCa), and their mortality rates are significantly higher than those of White men. It has been brought to light by Amar U. Kishan, MD, and his team at the University of California, Los Angeles, that black males had a 1.5 times higher likelihood of being diagnosed with prostate cancer and a 2.4 times higher likelihood of passing away as a result of the condition. Furthermore, at the time of diagnosis, Black males frequently had more advanced stages of the disease than other African-American men.
In light of the significant therapeutic advantages that NHT offers, the significance of its application in the treatment of prostate cancer in this population cannot be overstated. The SEER–Medicare database was utilized by the researchers to investigate the therapy methodologies utilized by 3,748 males who had recently been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. Out of them, 36 percent, or 1,358 men, were given at least one non-hormonal therapy (NHT) medication for high-risk localised, node-positive, or metastatic disease. these treatments include abiraterone, enzalutamide, apalutamide, or darolutamide.
The cohort consisted of 8% people of African descent, 7% people of Hispanic descent, 78% people of Whiteness, and 7% people of other races or ethnicities. Over two years, the percentage of males who used NHT was highest among white men (27%), followed by men of Hispanic descent (25%), and then men of other races or ethnicities (23%). Only twenty percent of black men used NHT.
The study published in JAMA Network Open indicates a considerable differential in the utilization of NHT between Black and White patients. The disparity ranged from 37% to 44% and remained for five years. There was no statistically significant difference between the rates of Hispanic patients (38%) and those of other races or ethnicities (41%) in comparison to the rates of White patients.
For several reasons, including hurdles to healthcare access, financial constraints, geographical variances in healthcare provider education, and the possibility of unconscious biases among healthcare practitioners, researchers believe this disparity is likely the result of a combination of variables. A significant weakness of the study is that the castration-resistant status of the patients was not known, which may affect the decisions made regarding treatment.
This finding opens up significant considerations regarding the equality of healthcare and the necessity of making focused efforts to guarantee that all cancer patients, regardless of their race, receive the best possible treatment.