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Asian Men Have Higher Survival Rates From Prostate Cancer Than White Men

Armen Hareyan's picture

The average survival time for certain Asian-Americans with prostatecancer is longer than it is for whites, according to a study in theSeptember issue of Cancer, U.S. News & World Report reports. The study was conducted by Anthony Robbins, an epidemiologist with the California Cancer Registry,and colleagues. Previous research has shown that Asian-Americans arediagnosed with prostate cancer less frequently than other races.

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Accordingto the study, the survival time for prostate cancer in five of sixAsian subgroups is longer than it is among whites. The study found thatJapanese-American men with prostate cancer have a 34% lower risk ofdying than white men. However, the study also found that survival ratesamong South Asians with prostate cancer is 40% lower than for whites.

Robbinssaid the difference in survival rates is mostly because Asians tend tobe in better overall health when diagnosed. Asian-Americans, forinstance, are less likely to have diseases that could affect theoutcome of cancer treatment, such as obesity or cardiovascular disease.In addition, Robbins suggested that Asian-Americans' diets, which areusually healthier than American diets and have less fat and more soyand vegetables, likely contribute to their better prostate cancerprognoses.

Robbins said that having higher survival ratescould encourage some Asian-American patients to abstain from aggressiveprostate cancer treatment, but he said that patients should not basetheir treatment choices on their ethnicity. He added, "This is just onemore piece of information that should go into the decision-makingprocess" (Voiland, U.S. News & World Report, 8/17).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser WeeklyHealth Disparities Report,search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.