Despite great strides in prostate cancer care over the past several years, racial disparities in care persist. It affects one in eight men and the number rises to one in six for Black men and one in five for Hispanic men.To talk more about this is Dr. Brian k. McNeil, the chief of urology at the University Hospital of Brooklyn.
Dr. McNeil says research has found genetic differences in men from different ethnic groups that can affect how they respond to treatment for prostate cancer, making it that much more important for cancer to be detected as soon as possible. There have been new therapies founded to help these men.
COVID-19 has also had an impact on these patients, but we won't know the real impact for several years. Dr. McNeil says this has hit communities of Black and Brown people especially hard. Hospitals serving these communities could not perform elective surgeries at the height of the pandemic, which left those who needed them suffering.
He says there is no exact age for when men should start getting checked for prostate cancer, but does recommend "shared decision making," meaning having a conversation with your physician about when to start, especially if you're high-risk. People at risk include those with a family history of cancer and should have this conversation a bit earlier on.