Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 45–53

Social disparities and prostate cancer: mapping the gaps in our knowledge



To evaluate the current state of our knowledge regarding social disparities and prostate cancer and to map the domains where substantial knowledge has been acquired as well as those where little is known, with the purpose of identifying important areas for future research.

A Medline research was conducted to identify published papers regarding social disparities in prostate cancer since 1990. The results of this review are presented in a social disparities and prostate cancer grid designed to highlight which domains of social disparities have been researched and which neglected.

The major social disparity in prostate cancer concerns the extremely high prostate cancer incidence and mortality seen among black Americans. This is also the area where the most research has been performed. Low socioeconomic position is associated with poorer prostate cancer outcomes but not with higher prostate cancer incidence. It remains poorly defined to what extent racial/ethnic differences in prostate cancer result from differences in socioeconomic position (SEP). Understanding the causes of the high prostate cancer mortality seen among black men remains the major challenge in the area of social disparities and prostate cancer.


cancer disparities health disparities prostate cancer race review article 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Department of Medical OncologyHarvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer InstituteBostonUSA
  2. 2.Lank Center for Genitourinary OncologyDana-Farber Cancer InstituteBostonUSA

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