Prostate Cancer Disparities


African American men are nearly two times more likely to get prostate cancer and more frequently have prostate cancer that forms, grows and spreads more quickly compared to white men. They are nearly three times more likely to die from prostate cancer compared to white men. These disparities likely result from a complex interplay among biological, health system, lifestyle and social factors that all work collectively to result in worse outcome in African American prostate cancer patients.

In North Carolina, the number of prostate cancer-related deaths among African Americans is higher than the national average. The Duke Cancer Institute’s catchment area is collectively greater than 25 percent African American (compared to the national average of 12.4 percent), with some counties over 50 percent African American. As a result, the Duke Prostate & Urologic Cancer Center is committed to addressing and overcoming these disparities locally, statewide and nationally.

For more information on how we’re addressing prostate cancer disparities, please see below and also visit the Duke Cancer Institute’s Office of Health Equity and Disparities.

Main Focus Areas:

  • Interrogation of molecular mechanisms underlying race-related prostate tumor aggressiveness
  • Development of biomarkers based on mechanisms of race-related tumor aggressiveness to better predict how aggressive a patient’s prostate cancer will be
  • Modulation of mechanisms of race-related tumor aggressiveness to better treat patients whose prostate cancer is dependent on these mechanisms
  • Determination of the importance of mechanisms of race-related prostate tumor aggressiveness for response to current therapeutic strategies
  • Establishment of preclinical models of prostate cancer from racially and ethnically diverse patient populations
  • Identification of biological, health system, lifestyle and social and structural interactions that drive prostate cancer disparities

Key Publications & Grants: