Moderate to advanced prostate cancer will nearly always require surgery as part of the treatment plan. Though nerve sparing surgery is the goal, more often than not, erectile dysfunction will still be a temporary, if not permanent outcome, of most surgical interventions. So the key is to diagnose prostate cancer early, especially when it is aggressive and in young men. Unfortunately, a new study out of UCLA reveals that disadvantaged and low income men are more likely to present to clinicians with advanced - late stage prostate cancer. Why? Because they typically do not see doctors for prostate cancer screenings.
Here in California, the IMPACT program at UCLA allows disadvantaged men to receive high quality prostate cancer care that they would not typically have access to. It is the first program of its kind, nationwide, to assist underinsured or uninsured men in obtaining prostate cancer treatment. In California, over 700 medical providers participate in the program.
Prior studies have shown that PSA screenings lead to more patient identified prostate cancer and the nature of the prostate cancer is "organ defined, low risk" meaning it is confined to a specific site and has not spread. Unfortunately, you still have to take advantage of an offering like IMPACT for it to impact rates of detection so that we can see an increase of early cancers being detected in the lower income male patient population. This detection rate has significantly increased in the affluent male population, which in recent years seems to recognize the value of regular prostate screenings. The current reality is that men from minority groups who live in poverty are more likely to die of prostate cancer, when compared to upper socio-economic male counterparts.
Still, programs like IMPACT give hope to the possibility that there will be a positive impact in the current statistics, and that in the future, we will see declining rates of untreated advanced stage prostate cancer in the economically disadvantaged. If you live in California and have minimal or no insurance, please check out this wonderful program.
Published On: January 05, 2009