The findings of a new study published in the journal Prostate Cancer show that African American males are less likely to use a more targeted biopsy option for prostate cancer detection.
“Black men have a significantly higher incidence and are up to three times more likely to die of prostate cancer than white men,” says Dr. Abhinav Sidana, director of urologic oncology and assistant professor in the Division of Urology at the UC College of Medicine, and corresponding author on this study in a press release. “MRI-ultrasound biopsy has emerged as a promising option for the detection of prostate cancer. In this study, we wanted to identify differences in use of MRI-ultrasound biopsy between black and white men with possible prostate cancer.”
Sidana noted that the standard biopsy for men with suspicion of having prostate cancer is a random needle collection of between 12 to 40 samples from the prostate. However, the doctor said, because of the random nature of the collection, this can lead to overdiagnosis of prostate cancer where treatment is not needed, underdiagnosis prostate cancer where treatment is needed and a higher rate of tests that read negative for cancer when it is truly malignant.
In this retrospective study, researchers evaluated 619 men, of which 182 were African American and 437 were white, who were all treated at UC Medical Center. Overall, 41% of black men underwent MRI-ultrasound biopsy juxtaposed to 51.5% of white men. “After adjusting for other factors, including age, race, prostate-specific antigen levels (which can determine risk for prostate cancer in the blood), other physical screening tactics, family history and health insurance providers, the odds of African-American men having MRI-ultrasound biopsies were one-third the odds of white men having that type of biopsy,” says Sidana.
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Dr. Sidana added that: “Although MRI-ultrasound biopsies are shown to be a better way to detect early-stage prostate cancer, we’re seeing this deficiency in a group of patients that would benefit the most from its use. We need to further investigate whether this difference is due to patient preference or if there are underlying socioeconomic, cultural or provider biases influencing this.”
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