Disparities associated with advanced prostate cancer stage at diagnosis
This study expands on a previous report (focusing on health insurance status and race/ethnicity) to present effects of age, socioeconomic status, hospital type, and other factors (e.g., type of Medicaid and Medicare coverage, insurance-by-race/ethnicity interactions) on advanced-stage (III/IV) at prostate cancer diagnosis. Invasive (Stages I–IV) prostate cancer cases diagnosed during 1998–2004 were extracted from the National Cancer Database (N=687,464). Independent of health-insurance and race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status was a significant predictor of advanced stage at diagnosis, with patients residing in areas with lower socioeconomic characteristics having significantly increased odds. Those treated at community-cancer-centers had significantly decreased odds (versus teaching/research-facilities). Significantly increased odds were also observed among uninsured-Blacks, Medicare-insured-Blacks, Medicaid-insured-Blacks, Medicare-insured-Hispanics, and Medicare-insured-other-racial/ethnic-minorities 65 years old and older (versus corresponding White-populations). The impact of prostate cancer screening on reducing mortality remains debatable. Still, our results suggest improvements in multiple factors that affect access-to-care may achieve earlier diagnosis and, therefore, a potentially more treatable disease.