National Cancer Institute Home at the National Institutes of Health | www.cancer.gov
Please wait while this form is being loaded....
The Applied Research Program Web site is no longer maintained. ARP's former staff have moved to the new Healthcare Delivery Research Program, the Behavioral Research Program, or the Epidemiology & Genetics Research Program, and the content from this Web site is being moved to one of those sites as appropriate. Please update your links and bookmarks!

Publication Abstract

Authors: Prasad SM, Gu X, Lipsitz SR, Nguyen PL, Hu JC

Title: Inappropriate utilization of radiographic imaging in men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer in the United States.

Journal: Cancer 118(5):1260-7

Date: 2012 Mar 01

Abstract: BACKGROUND: The use of radiographic imaging (bone scan and computerized tomography) is only recommended for men diagnosed with high-risk prostate cancer characteristics. The authors sought to characterize utilization patterns of imaging in men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer. METHODS: The authors performed a population-based observational cohort study using the US Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare linked data to identify 30,183 men diagnosed with prostate cancer during 2004 to 2005. RESULTS: Thirty-four percent of men with low-risk and 48% with intermediate-risk prostate cancer underwent imaging, whereas only 60% of men with high-risk disease received imaging before treatment. Radiographic imaging utilization was greater for men who were older than 75 years (odds ratio [OR], 1.28; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.20-1.37; P < .001), were black (OR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.01-1.21; P = .030), resided in wealthier areas (OR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.08-1.32 for median income >$60,000 vs <$35,000; P < .001), lived in rural regions (OR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.12-1.36; P < .001), or underwent standard radiation therapies (OR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.60-1.84; P < .001). Imaging utilization was less for men living in areas with greater high school education (OR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.75-0.91 between highest and lowest graduation rates; P < .001) or opting for active surveillance (OR, 0.17; 95% CI, 0.15-0.19 vs radical prostatectomy; P < .001). The estimated cost of unnecessary imaging over this 2-year period exceeded $3.6 million. CONCLUSIONS: In the United States, there is widespread overutilization of imaging for low-risk and intermediate-risk prostate cancer, whereas a worrisome number of men with high-risk disease did not receive appropriate imaging studies to exclude metastases before therapy.

Last Modified: 03 Sep 2013