Patterns of Care Related to Age of Men with Prostate Cancer

Published In: Cancer, v. 67, no. 10, May 15, 1991, p. 2633-2641

Posted on on January 01, 1991

by Charles Bennett, Harriet U. Aronow, Sheldon Greenfield, Patricia A. Ganz, Nicholas J. Vogelzang, R. M. Elashoff

Read More

Access further information on this document at

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

A chart review study was done of 242 Stages A2 to D1 cancer patients to determine whether the age of patients with prostate cancer influenced their physicians' management strategies. Ten hospitals of varying size, medical-school affiliation, and patient socioeconomic status participated in this study. Patterns of prostate cancer care were examined using sets of branching logic standards in the form of criteria maps. A chart-based comorbidity index was used to control for the effect of coexisting diseases on cancer management. Regression models indicated that patient age affected the intensity of both the diagnostic evaluation and therapy, even after controlling for independent factors such as comorbid disease and individual hospital differences. Patients aged 75 years and older had significantly less intensive clinical staging workups and use of surgical and radiation therapies compared with patients aged 65 to 74 years and patients aged 50 to 64 years. In conjunction with similar results noted in studies of elderly patients with other malignancies, these results suggest that age bias is likely to be widespread. Physicians need to consider life expectancy, the ability of the patient to tolerate diagnostic procedures and therapies, and the quality of life in making treatment decisions.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.