Sexual Orientation, Race, Ethnicity Affect Prostate, Colon Cancer Screening Rates

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

"Sexual Orientation and Testing for Prostate and Colorectal Cancers Among Men in California," Medical Care: The study, led by Kevin Heslin, an assistant professor at the Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, examines prostate and colorectal cancer screening rates based on sexual orientation and race and ethnicity.


Researchers analyzed data on 19,410 men who participated in a statewide health survey (Heslin et al., Medical Care, December 2008). Researchers looked at the use of prostate-specific antigen testing among gay/bisexual and heterosexual men and found no significant differences. However, the percentage of black gay/bisexual men who had undergone the test was 15% to 28% lower than gay/bisexual whites and 12% to 14% lower than heterosexual black men.

The finding is significant because black men are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than any other racial or ethnic group (University of California-Los Angeles Center for Health Policy Research newsletter, December 2008). The study suggests that further research be conducted to examine racial and ethnic differences in cancer testing (Medical Care, December 2008).

Reprinted with permission from You can view the entire Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at . The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.


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