A report published online August 27 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute says that the racial disparity in prostate cancer stage at diagnosis has decreased statistically significantly over time.
By analyzing data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program, Grace L. Lu-Yao, Ph.D., of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in New Brunswick, and colleagues also found that more men were diagnosed with prostate cancer at a younger age and earlier stage in 2004� than in earlier years.
The researchers used SEER data to generate a contemporary profile of prostate cancer patients by comparing patient characteristics of a 2004� population with those of patients diagnosed in 1988� and 1996�. They also compared the characteristics of the 2004� patient population with those of participants in a randomized trial of radical prostatectomy versus watchful waiting that showed better survival for patients aged 65 years or younger in the radical prostatectomy group.
"It will be important to examine whether more patients being diagnosed at earlier stages ultimately results in a decreased mortality from this highly prevalent malignancy and whether the narrowing of the racial disparity in the presentation of advanced prostate cancer is ultimately accompanied by similar trend in mortality," the authors write.