Identifying Factors That Limit Access to Prostate Cancer Therapy

Jay H. Fowke, PhD, MPH, MS
Published: Friday, Feb 01, 2019



Jay H. Fowke, PhD, MPH, MS, chief, Division of Epidemiology, professor of preventive medicine, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, discusses factors that can lead to disparity in access to prostate cancer care.

At the 2018 OncLive State of the Science Summit™ on Genitourinary Cancers, Walter Rayford, MD, of West Cancer Center presented a study analyzing the disparity in risk and outcomes between Caucasian and African-American patients with prostate cancer. Sparked by this cutting-edge presentation, Fowke shared insight on some key factors that could play into this.

Access is a crude word that can mean several different things, says Fowke; it could deal with transportation to the clinic or lack thereof, or the patient simply not interested in traveling to a distant facility to receive care. In many cases, insurance companies will only pay for treatment at a larger hospital as opposed to a local clinic, and there are several hurdles a patient needs to overcome to receive treatment.

Currently, there is a lot of ongoing work trying to address this issue, particularly for patients with complicated diseases, Fowke says. Some solutions may involve increasing access to rural areas through telemedicine or improving insurance coverage.
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Jay H. Fowke, PhD, MPH, MS, chief, Division of Epidemiology, professor of preventive medicine, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, discusses factors that can lead to disparity in access to prostate cancer care.

At the 2018 OncLive State of the Science Summit™ on Genitourinary Cancers, Walter Rayford, MD, of West Cancer Center presented a study analyzing the disparity in risk and outcomes between Caucasian and African-American patients with prostate cancer. Sparked by this cutting-edge presentation, Fowke shared insight on some key factors that could play into this.

Access is a crude word that can mean several different things, says Fowke; it could deal with transportation to the clinic or lack thereof, or the patient simply not interested in traveling to a distant facility to receive care. In many cases, insurance companies will only pay for treatment at a larger hospital as opposed to a local clinic, and there are several hurdles a patient needs to overcome to receive treatment.

Currently, there is a lot of ongoing work trying to address this issue, particularly for patients with complicated diseases, Fowke says. Some solutions may involve increasing access to rural areas through telemedicine or improving insurance coverage.

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