Dr. Baskin on Racial Disparities and Early Screening in Prostate Cancer

Monica L. Baskin, PhD, discusses the roles of race and early screening in prostate cancer.

Monica L. Baskin, PhD, professor, Division of Preventive Medicine, vice chair for culture and diversity, Department of Medicine, associate director, Community Outreach and Engagement, O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, discusses the roles of race and early screening in prostate cancer.

During the ​2020 Prostate Cancer Foundation Scientific Retreat, ​key findings regarding racial disparities among men with prostate cancer were presented. The data revealed that African American ​men are 50% more likely to develop prostate cancer ​compared with non-Hispanic white men. Additionally, African American men are also at a higher-risk of developing more aggressive disease, Baskin says.

Although ​additional research is needed to determine why this disparity exists, it is clear that early disease detection is paramount, ​explains Baskin. As such, all men should be proactive in terms of getting screened for prostate cancer​, Baskin adds.

Initial screening with a digital rectal exam and prostate-specific antigen ​testing can provide valuable information regarding an individual's risk of prostate cancer​, Baskin says. Early disease identification may mean that more effective and less invasive treatment options could be used should the patient require therapy, Baskin notes.

Finally, it’s important to ensure patients understand they are not alone in their cancer journey. ​For example, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, support group​s are available for patients ​with prostate cancer, Baskin concludes.