Study confirms prostate cancer is treated differently at county vs. private hospitals

January 25, 2010

Researchers at Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego and colleagues have found that prostate cancer treatments varied significantly between county hospitals and private providers. Patients treated in county hospitals are more likely to undergo surgery while patients treated in private facilities tend to receive radiation or hormone therapy. These findings were published online by the journal Cancer on January 25.

"The study examined the factors that drive treatment choices for patients with prostate cancer" said J. Kellogg Parsons, MD, MHS, principal investigator and urologic oncologist at Moores UCSD Cancer Center. "We found that decisions are significantly influenced by the type of health care facility where they receive care."

Surgery, radiation and hormone therapy are the most common treatments for localized prostate cancer. Each is associated with different risks and benefits with no consensus as to the most effective form of treatment, though life expectancy, other illnesses, cancer severity and patient preferences may account in part for treatment choices. Parsons and colleagues at UCLA compared the types of treatments prostate cancer patients received from public and private hospitals as part of a California public assistance program. The researchers analyzed the care provided to 559 men enrolled in a state-funded program for low-income patients known as Improving Access, Counseling and Treatment for Californians with Prostate Cancer (IMPACT).

Between 2001 and 2006, 56 percent of the study participants received treatment from county hospitals and 44 percent received care from private facilities. While tumor characteristics were similar in each group, patients treated in private facilities were more likely than those treated in county hospitals to be white and less likely to undergo surgery. Specifically, patients treated in private facilities were nearly two-and-a-half times more likely than those treated in county hospitals to receive radiation and more than four-and-a-half times more likely to initially receive hormone therapy instead of surgery.

While the reasons for these differences in treatment decisions are not known, the type of doctor that patients see may play a role, according to Parsons. At county hospitals, patients were initially under the care of urologists, while the initial providers at private facilities represented urologists, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists.

"The fact that prostate cancer patients are treated differently based on the type of hospital has implications for health policy, quality of care and equality of care--particularly because public hospitals are funded by city and state governments to provide health care for underserved, poor populations," said Parsons.

After skin malignancies, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer, and the second leading cause of cancer death among U.S. men.
-end-
Additional authors include Lorna Kwan (UCLA), Sarah E. Connor (UCLA), David C. Miller (University of Michigan), and Mark S. Litwin (UCLA).

University of California - San Diego

Related Prostate Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

Low risk of cancer spread on active surveillance for early prostate cancer
Men undergoing active surveillance for prostate cancer have very low rates - one percent or less - of cancer spread (metastases) or death from prostate cancer, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Urology®, an Official Journal of the American Urological Association (AUA).

ESMO 2020: Breast cancer drug set to transform prostate cancer treatment
A drug used to treat breast and ovarian cancer can extend the lives of some men with prostate cancer and should become a new standard treatment for the disease, concludes a major trial which is set to change clinical practice.

Major trial shows breast cancer drug can hit prostate cancer Achilles heel
A drug already licensed for the treatment of breast and ovarian cancers is more effective than targeted hormone therapy at keeping cancer in check in some men with advanced prostate cancer, a major clinical trial reports.

The Lancet: Prostate cancer study finds molecular imaging could transform management of patients with aggressive cancer
Results from a randomised controlled trial involving 300 prostate cancer patients find that a molecular imaging technique is more accurate than conventional medical imaging and recommends the scans be introduced into routine clinical practice.

Common genetic defect in prostate cancer inspires path to new anti-cancer drugs
Researchers found that, in prostate cancer, a mutation leading to the loss of one allele of a tumor suppressor gene known as PPP2R2A is enough to worsen a tumor caused by other mutations.

First prostate cancer therapy to target genes delays cancer progression
For the first time, prostate cancer has been treated based on the genetic makeup of the cancer, resulting in delayed disease progression, delayed time to pain progression, and potentially extending lives in patients with advanced, metastatic prostate cancer, reports a large phase 3 trial.

Men taking medications for enlarged prostate face delays in prostate cancer diagnosis
University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers report that men treated with medications for benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) experienced a two-year delay in diagnosis of their prostate cancer and were twice as likely to have advanced disease upon diagnosis.

CNIO researchers confirm links between aggressive prostate cancer and hereditary breast cancer
The study has potential implications for families with members suffering from these types of tumours who are at an increased risk of developing cancer.

Distinguishing fatal prostate cancer from 'manageable' cancer now possible
Scientists at the University of York have found a way of distinguishing between fatal prostate cancer and manageable cancer, which could reduce unnecessary surgeries and radiotherapy.

Researchers find prostate cancer drug byproduct can fuel cancer cells
A genetic anomaly in certain men with prostate cancer may impact their response to common drugs used to treat the disease, according to new research at Cleveland Clinic.

Read More: Prostate Cancer News and Prostate Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.