Sociodemographic Factors Associated with Postprostatectomy Radiotherapy

Published in: Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases, v. 8, no. 2, 2005, p. 184-188

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2005

by Tracey L. Krupski, Lorna Kwan, Mark Litwin

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PURPOSE: To determine if nonclinical factors affect the use of adjuvant radiation therapy after surgical resection of the prostate gland. METHODS: Using the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) public use data files, the authors identified men with localized/regional prostate cancer who underwent postprostatectomy radiotherapy within 4 months of surgery. The authors used 2000 Census information to ascribe a median education and income level to these men based on the county of residence and ethnicity. RESULTS: Of 34 763 men who underwent surgical resection, 1549 received postprostatectomy radiotherapy. Those with higher tumor grade and from certain geographic regions (Seattle and Hawaii) had significantly higher rates of radiotherapy while being older and from other geographic regions (Detroit, Utah, and New Mexico) was protective. The use of additional radiation therapy was not affected by ethnicity, income level, or educational attainment. CONCLUSIONS: The authors found no socioeconomic or demographic disparities in the receipt of postprostatectomy radiotherapy. Geographic variation in postprostatectomy radiotherapy may be explained by limited evidence supporting its use in clinical practice.

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