What The Study Did: This study included 647 patients with untreated nonmetastatic prostate cancer (269 patients during the pandemic and 378 from before the pandemic). During the initial COVID-19 lockdown, only 1% of Black men underwent prostatectomy, while 26% of white patients did. Prior to the pandemic, there was no difference in the rate of prostatectomy between the two races (18% of Black men and 19% of white men). The lessons from this study suggest systemic inequities within health care and are likely applicable across medical specialties. Public health efforts are needed to fully recognize the unintended consequence of diversion of cancer resources to the COVID-19 pandemic to develop balanced mitigation strategies as viral rates continue to fluctuate.
Authors: Andres Correa, M.D., of the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, is the corresponding author.
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