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Urology. 2002 Oct;60(4):628-33.

United States radiation oncologists' and urologists' opinions about screening and treatment of prostate cancer vary by region.

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Medical Practices Evaluation Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.



To examine whether physicians' views on prostate cancer screening and treatment vary by geographic region in the United States.


A mail survey was sent in 1998 to a random sample of physicians in the United States who were listed as radiation oncologists (response rate 76%, n = 559) and urologists (response rate 64%, n = 504) in the American Medical Association Registry of Physicians and practicing at least 20 hr/wk.


Radiation oncologists and urologists in Florida were more likely to report recommending routine prostate-specific antigen testing for men aged 75 years and older than were their colleagues in other regions of the United States. The Florida physicians were more likely to report treating at least 20% of their patients with brachytherapy and to report believing that brachytherapy has survival value for men with a less than 10-year life expectancy. No regional differences were found in the radiation oncologists' and urologists' beliefs about the survival value of radical prostatectomy; however, for men with a less than 10-year life expectancy, Florida urologists had more confidence in the survival benefit of external beam radiotherapy than urologists in other regions (P = 0.04). Radiation oncologists in Florida reported higher rates of recommending early androgen deprivation for a rising PSA after both radiotherapy and surgery (P = 0.008 and P = 0.001, respectively) than did their colleagues in other regions.


Florida radiation oncologists and urologists reported beliefs and practices that differed from their colleagues in other regions of the United States. Whether the distinctive style of prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment in Florida results in improved outcomes has yet to be proved.

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