African-American men are at higher risk for developing prostate cancer and they are more likely to die of prostate cancer than white men.
Some studies indicate that African-American men have worse quality of life and worse cure rates following treatment than white men. Questions about the efficacy and potential side effects of currently available therapies force men to make difficult choices about treatment when diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Proton radiation for prostate cancer treatment offers an alternative, innovative method of radiation treatment intended to lower the risk of prostate cancer treatments and side effects. A study by the University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute1 concludes that African-American and white patients had similarly excellent results following proton therapy for prostate cancer. There was no difference detected between the two groups in their cure rates or in their sexual, urinary or bowel function following proton therapy.
In a large-scale study published in 2016,2 researchers reported that 99 percent, 94 percent and 74 percent of men treated with proton therapy for low-, intermediate-, and high-risk prostate cancer, respectively, had no signs of cancer recurrence after five years of follow-up. Less than one percent in the cohort experienced serious gastrointestinal side effects and approximately three percent experienced serious urologic side effects.
1 Bryant, Curtis et al. “Does Race Influence Health-Related Quality of Life and Toxicity Following Proton Therapy for Prostate Cancer?” American Journal of Clinical Oncology 39.3 (2016): 261–265. PMC. Web. 24 Mar. 2017.
2 Bryant, Curtis et al. “Five-Year Biochemical Results, Toxicity, and Patient-Reported Quality of Life Following Delivery of Dose-Escalated Image-Guided Proton Therapy for Prostate Cancer.” International Journal of Radiation, Oncology, Biology Physics 95.1 (2016): 435-43.