Newswire (Published: Monday, December 14, 2020, Received: Monday, December 14, 2020, 7:34:36 PM CST)
Word Count: 655
2020 DEC 14 (NewsRx) -- By a
The cost of cancer care can be high and the financial burden of prostate cancer treatment can be a significant source of stress for men and their families. “Cost of treatment and the associated financial burden could be an important factor in treatment decisions,” says
Differences in financial burden of initial treatments for localized prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men, with an estimated 190,000 new cases being diagnosed this year. Because their cancer has not spread beyond the prostate gland, men with localized disease have a choice of treatment options, including active surveillance, radiation, or surgery.
According to lead author
The study included a questionnaire asking about the direct and indirect costs of prostate cancer and its treatment. Financial burdens were compared for patients choosing surgery (radical prostatectomy), external beam radiation therapy (EBRT), or active surveillance. (Other treatment groups were considered too small for analysis.)
In the first six months after prostate cancer treatment, 15 percent of patients said they experienced “a large or very large” burden of treatment costs. The financial burden was highest for patients who underwent EBRT: 11 percent of patients reported burdens consistent with financial toxicity.
Patients choosing surgery had higher initial financial burdens than those choosing active surveillance. However, these two groups were similar after one year. Financial burdens decreased over time: five years after treatment, only one to three percent of patients were still experiencing financial toxicity. After adjustment for other factors, the financial burdens associated with EBRT were up to twice as high as for surgery or active surveillance.
“Our research shows radiation therapy seems to have the highest financial burden for patients with clinically localized prostate cancer, compared to surgery or active surveillance,” says
Other factors contributing to higher financial burden included: higher-risk prostate cancer, younger age, non-white race, and lower education. “The association of financial burden with socioeconomic factors such as race and education is in line with the results of previous studies in
“Overall, our follow-up study suggests that radiation therapy has a longer-lasting burden of costs, compared to other initial treatment options for prostate cancer,” the researchers conclude. They note some limitations of their study, including a lack of data on patients’ income and other financial resources.
It’s also unclear why the financial impact of EBRT is larger than for other treatment options.
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