Black men were far less likely than White men to undergo prostate cancer surgery during the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Pennsylvania.
“Prior to the pandemic, there was no difference in the rate of surgery for Black and white patients diagnosed with prostate cancer,” said Adrien Bernstein (above), MD, of the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. “During the pandemic, however, Black men were 97% less likely than white men to undergo a prostatectomy.”
The study demonstrated that these changes in care were not the result of differences in prostate cancer severity or the risk of severe COVID-19 infections. Rather, the disparity in surgical treatment was driven by clear systemic variations: institutions that cared for a greater proportion of black patients experienced a greater decline in operative volume.
- See “Fox Chase Researchers Assess Racial Disparities in Prostate Cancer Treatment During COVID-19” on the Fox Chase Cancer Center website (July 22, 2021)
- See the full text of the scientific paper “Assessment of Prostate Cancer Treatment Among Black and White Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic” by Adrien N Bernstein et al.