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Medicineworld.org: Cost of prostate cancer care

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Cost of prostate cancer care




A new analysis has observed that short-term and long-term costs of prostate cancer care vary considerably based on which therapy strategy a man initially receives. Published early online in Cancer, a peer-evaluated journal of the American Cancer Society, the study finds that therapys that appears to be less expensive in the short-term may have higher long-term costs.

For men with early stage prostate cancer, various therapys are available, including surgery, radiation treatment, hormonal therapy, watchful waiting, or combinations of the above. A variety of factors determines which therapy is appropriate for a given man, and in some cases, a man appears to be able to choose among several options. Cost is one of a number of factors to consider when choosing among these options.



Cost of prostate cancer care

To determine how the initial therapy received by men with early stage prostate cancer affects costs of medical care both in the short-term (first year following diagnosis) and long-term (across five years of follow-up), Claire Snyder, PhD, of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore led a team that evaluated early stage prostate-cancer cases from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database. (This database combines cancer incidence and survival data from US population-based cancer registries with Medicare administrative claims.) Patients included 13,769 men aged 66 years or older who were diagnosed in 2000 and were followed for 5 years. They were divided into groups based on the therapy they received during the first 9 months after diagnosis: watchful waiting, radiation, hormonal treatment, hormonal treatment plus radiation, and surgery (men in this latter group may have received hormones and/or radiation as well). Treatment costs were divided into initial (months -1 to 12), long-term (each 12 months thereafter), and total (months -1 to 60) costs. The incremental costs of care were calculated as the difference in medical costs for patients versus a group of similar men without cancer.

The researchers observed that for most prostate cancer cases, costs were highest in the initial year and then dropped sharply and remained steady over the next several years; however, patterns of costs varied widely in the short-term and long-term based on initial therapy received. Watchful waiting had the lowest initial ($4270) and five-year total costs ($9130). Initial therapy costs were highest for patients who received hormonal treatment plus radiation ($17,474), followed by those undergoing surgery ($15,197). Hormonal treatment had the second lowest initial costs but the highest five-year total costs ($26,896). "This demonstrates that therapys that appears to be less expensive in the short-term may have higher long-term costs," said Dr. Snyder. Hormonal treatment plus radiation ($25,097) and surgery ($19,214) had the second and third highest five-year total costs. After excluding the last 12 months of life (because patterns of costs are quite different in the period previous to death), total costs were highest for hormonal treatment plus radiation ($23,488) and hormonal treatment only ($23,199).

These findings provide new information for patients, providers, and payers involved in prostate cancer care. Despite the high prevalence of early stage prostate cancer and the controversies linked to determining initial therapy, few other studies have examined both the short-term and long-term costs of available therapy options.


Posted by: Mark    Source




Did you know?
A new analysis has observed that short-term and long-term costs of prostate cancer care vary considerably based on which therapy strategy a man initially receives. Published early online in Cancer, a peer-evaluated journal of the American Cancer Society, the study finds that therapys that appears to be less expensive in the short-term may have higher long-term costs.

Medicineworld.org: Cost of prostate cancer care

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