How Social Factors Play a Role in Prostate Cancer Disparities

Social factors contribute to disparities in genetic counseling and testing among men with prostate cancer, according a study published in Urologic Oncology.

In a retrospective analysis, the researchers assessed 14,610 patients (72.0% were white; 62.7% were ≥65 years) diagnosed with prostate cancer from April 2011 to August 2020. All data were obtained from electronic health records, and patient characteristics were collated using genetic counselor visits. The primary endpoint was defined as the receipt of a genetic counseling visit and receipt of genetic testing. A total of 667 patients completed an appointment with a genetic counselor, while 439 patients received germline genetic test results.

According to the results, patients aged ≥65 years (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 0.53; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.44-0.65) and those who were non-English proficient (adjusted OR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.42-1.21) were less likely to receive genetic counseling. Overall, the researchers observed that genetic counseling was the strongest independent predictor of receipt of genetic testing.

The results of the current study highlight that the role of social factors in contributing to disparities in genetic counseling and testing among men with prostate cancer,” the researchers concluded. They added that the results “underscore the importance of developing novel strategies to tackle contributors of observed disparities including language, age, and insurance status.”