Racial Disparity in Time Between First Diagnosis and Initial Treatment of Prostate Cancer.
Additional Document Info
BACKGROUND: Disparities among patients with prostate cancer exist across the continuum of care. The interval of time that lapses between first diagnosis and treatment is another disparity that may exist but has not been fully explored. METHODS: Our study looked at the data of 749 men (353 black and 396 white) who were 40 to 81 years of age when they entered the North Carolina Central Cancer Registry during the years 2007 and 2008. Our dependent variable was the amount of months that had passed between first diagnosis and treatment. Our main independent variable was self-reported race. Covariates included age, income, level of education, insurance status, treatment received, Gleason score, and level of medical mistrust. We used negative binomial regression analysis to determine the association between the amount of time that lapsed between a diagnosis of prostate cancer and treatment by race. RESULTS: Compared with white men, black men were more likely to experience a longer wait time between diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 1.19; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04-1.36). Controls for demographical, clinical, and psychosocial variables (IRR 1.24; 95% CI, 1.04-1.43) did not explain this difference between the races. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the amount of time that lapses between first diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer is longer for black men compared with white men. Our findings have identified an underreported racial disparity in the disease continuum of prostate cancer.