Dr. Adrien Bernstein, a urologic oncologist from Albany Medical College in New York provides details about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on prostate cancer screening and surgery.

“There is a profound racial disparity in prostate cancer surgery rates, with a 97% reduction in the likelihood of surgery for black patients, relative to white patients during the pandemic!”

– Adrien Bernstein, MD, MS, Urologic Oncologist, Albany Medical College

Key Takeaways:

  • Early in COVID-19, routine oncologic care was deferred to encourage stewardship of resources and prioritize safety.
  • Findings show large variations in prostate cancer biopsies and surgery, driven by practice sites, rather than patient biology.
  • During the COVID-19 lockdown, Black men were significantly less likely to undergo prostatectomy, despite similar COVID-19 risk factors.
  • White men were 31x more likely to receive surgical care during the lockdown.
  • There was profound racial disparity in prostate cancer surgery rates, with a 97% reduction in the likelihood of surgery for black patients, relative to white patients.
  • In prostate cancer, studies have shown that when care is equitable, the outcome gap resolves.