Receiving a positive diagnosis for any disease can be devastating for those affected. However, for those who receive late-stage diagnoses, the news can be life threatening. Early detection is key, but for some groups, access to those types of healthcare resources is oftentimes limited. For example, disparities in healthcare can limit or even restrict access to prostate cancer screenings for Black men that could ultimately save their lives. These disparities include factors such as socioeconomic status and racial bias that create barriers receiving proper health care. Due to the already greater likelihood of Black men developing prostate cancer compared to white men, it is critical that early detection screenings are offered to this community in order to combat the disease in its earlier, more treatable stages.
The Impacts of Prostate Cancer on Black Men
Studies have indicated that prostate cancer in Black men has a different genetic makeup than in other races or ethnicities, which can impact detection and treatment. That alone can contribute to consequential repercussions for Black men who develop this disease, but there are a few other key factors to consider when it comes to Black men and prostate cancer:
- The disease is likely to present itself earlier in Black men than in other racial groups.
- The disease typically progresses at a more aggressive rate in Black men than in other groups.
- The disease has a higher mortality rate in Black men than in other men, often due to a lack of access to care and early detection screenings.
The Prostate Cancer Foundation’s Work Towards Early Detection
The Prostate Cancer Foundation and its team of doctors understand that early detection of this cancer in Black men is fundamental to saving more lives. Studies have shown that Black men are 1.7 times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 2.1 times more likely to die from this disease than white men. As a majority of Black men reside in regions of the country that lack direct access to quality healthcare resources, it is even more critical for healthcare providers to meet these men where they are.
Mount Sinai Robert F. Smith Mobile Prostate Cancer Screening
Mount Sinai Hospital has teamed up with Robert F. Smith to create a completely mobile prostate cancer screening bus. The Mount Sinai Robert F. Smith Mobile Prostate Cancer Screening bus is a state-of-the-art mobile facility that allows trained staff to bring advanced screening technology directly to at-risk men. This bus is set up in predominantly Black neighborhoods throughout New York City, offering prostate cancer exams on-site. If abnormal results are reported from these exams, patients are referred to urologists at the Mount Sinai Center of Excellence for Prostate Cancer to recieve further testing and develop any necessary treatment plans.
Smith has a long history as an advocate in the fight for advancing prostate cancer screenings for Black men. Smith works alongside the Prostate Cancer Foundation, where he provided funding to develop the Smith Polygenic Risk Test for Prostate Cancer, a genetics-based test to determine a man’s risk of developing the disease . He also contributed a $2.5 million donation that established the Robert Frederick Smith Precision Oncology Center of Excellence in Chicago, located at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, to support prostate cancer research for Black men.
Learn more about what Mount Sinai is doing to help those with prostate cancer by visiting their website. You can also dive deeper into the issue by viewing further articles on racial inequities in healthcare.