Prostate cancer in Texas: Addressing racial and ethnic disparities

Jerry Alan Miller, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Racial disparities in prostate cancer are of public health concern. This dissertation used Texas Cancer Registry data to examine racial disparities in prostate cancer incidence for Texas over the period 1995–1998 and subsequent mortality through the year 2001. Incidence, mortality, treatment, and risk factors for survival were examined. It was found that non-Hispanic blacks have higher incidence and mortality from prostate cancer than non-Hispanic whites, and that Hispanics and non-Hispanic Asians are roughly similar to non-Hispanic whites in cancer survival. The incidence rates in non-Hispanic whites were spread more evenly across the age spectrum compared to other racial and ethnic groups. Non-Hispanic blacks were more often diagnosed at a higher stage of disease. All racial and ethnic groups in the Registry had lower death rates from non-prostate cancer causes than non-Hispanic whites. Age, stage and grade all conferred about the same relative risks of all-cause and prostate cancer survival within each racial and ethnic group examined. Radiation treatment for non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics did not confer a relative risk of survival statistically significantly different from surgery, whereas it conferred greater survival in non-Hispanic whites. However, non-Hispanic blacks were statistically significantly less likely to have received radiation treatment, while controlling for age, stage, and grade. Among only those who died of prostate cancer, non-Hispanic blacks were less likely to have received radiation than were non-Hispanic whites, whereas among those who had not died, non-Hispanic blacks were more likely to have received this treatment. Hispanics were less likely to have received radiation whether they died from prostate cancer or not. All racial and ethnic groups were less likely than Non-Hispanic whites to have received surgery. Non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics were more likely than non-Hispanic whites to have received hormonal treatment. The findings are interpreted with caution with regard to the limitations of data quality and missing information. Results are discussed in the context of previous work, and public health implications are pondered. This study confirms some earlier findings, identifies treatment as one possible source of disparity in prostate cancer mortality, and contributes to understanding the epidemiology of prostate cancer in Hispanics.

Subject Area

Public health|Oncology

Recommended Citation

Miller, Jerry Alan, "Prostate cancer in Texas: Addressing racial and ethnic disparities" (2004). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3143613.