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Urologists’ report: more prostate cancer surgery driven by more robotic procedures

“Adoption of robotic technology fueled rapid growth in the use of prostatectomy at a time when the incidence of prostate cancer decreased, investigators reported (at an American Urological Association conference in Washington, DC, according to MedPageToday .

They quoted Hugh J. Lavery, MD, of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York:

“The cancer outcomes and fiscal policy implications of this shift may be substantial.”

And the story explains that utilization questions aren’t merely limited to surgery:

Alluding to an earlier presentation on current practices in prostate cancer therapy, session moderator James Montie, MD, said a lot of discussion and speculation have focused on the question of “whether the pie is the same size and is being sliced differently or is the pie growing.”

“There is other evidence to suggest that radiation therapy use also is increasing, largely in the form of [intensity-modulated RT],” said Montie, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “I think there is pretty good evidence that the pie is getting larger.

“More people are being treated with supposed definitive therapy. Why is that, in an era when the incidence is going down and there is no reason to believe that the disease is a lot more dangerous than it used to be? It raises issues about utilization.”

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