Events in the last two weeks have raised everyone’s awareness of inequalities in our society and for us at the Focal Therapy Clinic it’s brought focus on health inequalities. Last week we wrote about the double burden that black men face in both developing prostate cancer and in dying from it. This week we looked into some of the reasons for this disparity and found very little conclusive research. What we did find, however, was disturbing in itself.
A study led by the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health on 59 prostate cancer clinical trials in the USA and Europe showed that while black men have a disproportionate burden of prostate cancer incidence and mortality compared with white men, over 90% of participants on nearly 60 clinical trials were white.
The authors concluded “We hope that this study broadly calls attention to the drastic underrepresentation of minority men in prostate cancer clinical trials, despite the increasing evidence of the racial disparities that exist in prostate cancer incidence and outcomes in these minority populations.”
You can read about the study here at The American Association for Cancer Research website.
The fact that most current trials have been interrupted or postponed due to Covid is both a problem and an opportunity –the latter for the active recruitment of black men into ongoing and future clinical trials.
We support equality in healthcare and applaud the work of charities like Prostate Cancer UK and Orchid which are bringing attention to prostate cancer in the black community and, in the case of Orchid, are doing so in very creative ways.
“Uncle Mike” is a moving short film depicting the relationship between a young man and his uncle who are both deeply affected by prostate cancer.