Certain Asian Men Have Higher Survival Rates From Prostate Cancer Than White Men, Study Finds
The average survival time for certain Asian-Americans with prostate cancer is longer than it is for whites, according to a study in the September 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 are diagnosed with prostate cancer less frequently than other races.
According to the study, the survival time for prostate cancer in five of six Asian subgroups is longer than it is among whites. The study found that Japanese-American men with prostate cancer have a 34% lower risk of dying than white men. However, the study also found that survival rates among South Asians with prostate cancer is 40% lower than for whites.
Robbins said the difference in survival rates is mostly because Asians tend to be in better overall health when diagnosed. Asian-Americans, for instance, are less likely to have diseases that could affect the outcome of cancer treatment, such as obesity or cardiovascular disease. In addition, Robbins suggested that Asian-Americans' diets, which are usually healthier than American diets and have less fat and more soy and vegetables, likely contribute to their better prostate cancer prognoses.
Robbins said that having higher survival rates could encourage some Asian-American patients to abstain from aggressive prostate cancer treatment, but he said that patients should not base their treatment choices on their ethnicity. He added, "This is just one more piece of information that should go into the decision-making process" (Voiland, U.S. News & World Report, 8/17).
An abstract of the study is available online.