Prostate cancer patients may be having surgery without knowi
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Health policies regarding the treatment of prostate cancer should be re-examined to provide greater patient choice after a study found men in New South Wales aged 45 years or more with prostate cancer were twice as likely to undergo radical prostatectomy as external beam radiotherapy, and few had consulted radiation oncologists prior to surgery.

Published in the Medical Journal of Australia, the study analyzed data from 4003 NSW men aged 45 years or more enrolled in the population-based 45 and Up Study and in whom prostate cancer was first diagnosed during 2006?2013.

In total, 1619 of 4003 patients underwent radical prostatectomy as their first treatment, 893 external beam radiotherapy (EBRT), 183 brachytherapy, 87 chemotherapy, 373 androgen deprivation therapy alone, and 848 no active treatment. 205 of 1628 patients who had radical prostatectomies had radiation oncology consultations prior to surgery.

--Radical prostatectomy was more likely for patients aged 45–59 years, with regional stage disease, living 100 km or more from the nearest radiotherapy center, having partners, or having private health insurance, while lower physical functioning, obesity, and living in areas of greater socio?economic disadvantage reduced the likelihood.

--EBRT was more likely for patients aged 70–79 years, with non-localized or unknown stage disease, living less than 100 km from the nearest radiotherapy center, or not having private health insurance, while the likelihood was lower for patients aged 45–59 years or more than 80 years and for those who had several comorbid conditions.

Conclusively, men with prostate cancer were twice as likely to have radical prostatectomy as to receive EBRT, and fewer than one in seven had consulted radiation oncologists prior to prostatectomy. The treatment received was influenced by several socio?demographic factors. Given the treatment?specific side effects and costs, policies that affect access to different treatments for prostate cancer should be reviewed.

Source: https://doi.org/10.5694/mja2.50966
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