(RxWiki News) Doctors sometimes monitor men with prostate cancer by watching for disease signs rather than giving more treatment. But this approach may not be the best one for black men.
A new study found that low-grade prostate cancer returned after surgery more often in black men than white men.
Black men may need more aggressive treatment than simply watching and waiting, the study authors said.
"Make sure prostate exams are part of your regular checkups."
On average, black men have prostate cancer more often, get it at an earlier age and die from it more often than white men.
Kosj Yamoah MD, PhD, chief resident at the Department of Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University, and colleagues studied the outcomes of surgery for prostate cancer.
The research team studied 234 black men and 1,031 white men who had their prostate removed due to prostate cancer.
A Gleason score is used to tell the severity of prostate cancer. Higher Gleason scores are associated with worse outlooks.
Dr. Yamoah and team found that, in men with low-grade prostate cancer (Gleason scores less than or equal to 6), black men had worse outcomes after prostate removal. Over seven years, 86 percent of the white patients and 79 percent of the black patients remained free from prostate cancer.
“Our study shows that African American men who are diagnosed with a low-grade cancer at first — the cancers that are sometimes watched rather than treated — are more likely to develop aggressive disease sooner than Caucasian men,” Dr. Yamoah said in a press release.
The study authors said that black men with low-grade prostate cancer may benefit from increased treatment.
The study was published Sept. 8 in Urologic Oncology.
The US Public Health System and the Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award funded the research.