Race and Prostate Cancer Treatment

There are racial disparities in prostate cancer treatment, but the root causes of these disparities are unknown. Heather Orom, PhD, is exploring several possible explanations to help reduce racial gaps in prostate cancer mortality and patient treatment.

Principal Investigator: Heather Orom, PhD, and Willie Underwood, MD, MS, MPH    

Co-investigator: Gregory G. Homish, PhD

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute (NCI)  

Period:  08/2010-05/2016                    

Abstract: The objective of this project is to identify underlying causes of Black-White differences in the likelihood of receiving definitive (potentially curative) therapy for prostate cancer (CaP) and treatment decision-making distress and regret. This knowledge is needed to design and implement interventions that will reduce racial gaps in CaP mortality and treatment decision-making distress and regret. Increasing the likelihood that Black men will receive definitive therapy when it is clinically appropriate is a critically important public health challenge. Black men are more than twice as likely to die from CaP as White men, with much of this difference attributable to Black-White differences in the receipt of definitive treatment. The central hypothesis of the study is that racial dynamics in the health care system result in Black men being less likely to receive definitive treatment, and more likely to experience decision-making difficulty, distress and treatment decision regret. The study will be the first to test whether racial dynamics shown to be common in other health care domains (e.g., Black-White differences in the likelihood of having experienced racial discrimination in health care settings, physician distrust and racial differences in patient involvement in treatment decision-making, and satisfaction with health care) contribute to Black-White differences in receipt of definitive therapy and treatment decision-making distress and regret.
Principal Investigator: Heather Orom, PhD, and Willie Underwood, MD, MS, MPH     

Research Papers