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Inferior Care, Higher Costs for Black Men With Prostate Cancer

Problems include longer waits, greater need for more care after surgery, and rehospitalization

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MONDAY, Oct. 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Older black men with prostate cancer seem more likely to receive poorer quality of care that costs more compared to white men, according to a report published online Oct. 22 in JAMA Oncology.

Quoc-Dien Trinh, M.D., an assistant professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues used a Medicare database to collect data on 2,020 black men and 24,462 white men, aged 65 and older, who underwent radical prostatectomy.

Although there was no difference between the races in survival from prostate cancer, black men had to wait about seven days longer for treatment, the researchers found. In addition, black men were less likely to undergo lymph node dissection, and they were more likely to need to go to the emergency department after surgery and end up rehospitalized. As a result, surgical treatment cost the top 50 percent of black men $1,185 more.

"These worrisome findings suggest that the quality of care received by elderly men undergoing radical prostatectomy is inferior in blacks relative to whites, with higher associated costs," Trinh told HealthDay.

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