This article was originally published here
Am J Mens Health. 2021 Nov-Dec;15(6):15579883211057990. doi: 10.1177/15579883211057990.
The relationship of social determinants of health, Appalachian residence, and prostate cancer treatment delay among Tennessee adults is relatively unknown. We used multivariate logistic regression on 2005-2015 Tennessee Cancer Registry data of adults aged ≥18 diagnosed with prostate cancer. The outcome of treatment delay was more than 90 days without surgical or nonsurgical intervention from date of diagnosis. Social determinants in the population-based registry were race (White, Black, Other) and marital status (single, married, divorced/separated, widow/widower). Tennessee residence was classified as Appalachian versus non-Appalachian (urban/rural). Covariates include age at diagnosis (18-54, 54-69, ≥70), health insurance type (none, public, private), derived staging of cancer (localized, regional, distant), and treatment type (non-surgical/surgical). We found that Black and divorced/separated patients had 32% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.22-1.42) and 15% (95% CI: 1.01-1.31) increased odds to delay prostate cancer treatment. Patients were at decreased odds of treatment delay when living in an Appalachian county, both urban (odds ratio [OR] = 0.89, 95% CI: 0.82-0.95) and rural (OR = 0.83, 95% CI: 0.78-0.89), diagnosed at ≥70 (OR = 0.59, 95% CI: 0.53-0.66), and received surgical intervention (OR = 0.72, 95% CI: 0.68-0.76). Our study was among the first to comprehensively examine prostate cancer treatment delay in Tennessee, and while we do not make clinical recommendations, there is a critical need to further explore the unique factors that may propagate disparities. Prostate cancer treatment delay in Black patients may be indicative of ongoing health and access disparities in Tennessee, which may further affect quality of life and survivorship among this racial group. Divorced/separated patients may need tailored interventions to improve social support.