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Cancer Causes Control. 2011 Nov;22(11):1597-606. doi: 10.1007/s10552-011-9836-2. Epub 2011 Aug 30.

Social and clinical predictors of prostate cancer treatment decisions among men in South Carolina.

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Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Public Health, Paul D. Coverdell Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences, University of Georgia, 500 D.W. Brooks Drive, Athens, GA 30602-7396, USA.



To assess social and clinical influences of prostate cancer treatment decisions among white and black men in the Midlands of South Carolina.


We linked data collected on treatment decision making in men diagnosed with prostate cancer from 1996 through 2002 with clinical and sociodemographic factors collected routinely by the South Carolina Central Cancer Registry (SCCCR). Unconditional logistic regression was used to assess social and clinical influences on treatment decision.


A total of 435 men were evaluated. Men of both races who chose surgery (versus radiation) were more likely to be influenced by their physician and by family/friends. Black men who chose surgery also were ~5 times more likely to make independent decisions (i.e., rather than be influenced by their doctor). White men who chose surgery were twice as likely to be influenced by the desire for cure and less likely to consider the side effects of impotence (odds ratio (OR) = 0.40; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.18, 0.88) and incontinence (OR = 0.27; 95% CI: 0.12, 0.63); by contrast, there was a suggestion of an opposite effect in black men, whose decision regarding surgery tended to be more strongly influenced by these side effects.


Results suggest that both clinical and social predictors play an important role for men in choosing a prostate cancer treatment, but these influences may differ by race.

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