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Keywords:

  • prostate cancer;
  • complications;
  • urological surgical procedures;
  • health-related quality of life;
  • watchful waiting

What's known on the subject? and What does the study add?

Very few studies have examined end-of-life urological studies in men with prostate cancer. These studies reported fewer procedures in men who received primary therapy for prostate cancer. However, these studies were typically single institution or had a short follow-up period.

The present study is the first population-based study examining end-of-life urological procedures and uses a geographic region encompassing 385 000 patients. Furthermore, this study incorporates both hospital- and office-based procedures. This approach has not been previously undertaken.

OBJECTIVE

  • • 
    To determine using a population-based approach whether men with end-stage prostate cancer who had definitive primary therapy might require fewer urological interventions. Repeated urological procedures can impact health-related quality of life in patients dying from prostate cancer.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

  • • 
    Using the Marshfield Epidemiological Study Area (MESA) database and tumour registry, we compared end-of-life interventions in men who died from prostate cancer between 1991 and 2009.
  • • 
    Patient charts were queried for urological procedures using International Classification of Disease Modification, 9th edition (ICD9) codes for 3 years before death.
  • • 
    Clinicopathological information was examined including whether the patient had a history of primary therapy (radiation or radical prostatectomy).

RESULTS

  • • 
    Among 280 patients dying from prostate cancer, 52 (19%) required 153 urological procedures during the last 3 years of life. The frequency of procedures increased closer to death. The most common procedures involved nephrostomy tube (56%), Foley catheter (24%) and transurethral resection of the prostate (10%).
  • • 
    Clinicopathological features did not predict the need for an end-of-life urological procedure.
  • • 
    There was no difference in the frequency of upper or lower tract procedures in surgery or radiation patients compared with patients without primary therapy (P= 0.556 and P= 0.508).
  • • 
    Using a Kaplan–Meier analysis, there were no differences between groups in the proportion of patients not requiring a procedure (n= 280; P= 0.179).

CONCLUSIONS

  • • 
    This is the first population-based study to examine the frequency of urological procedures in patients with end-stage prostate cancer.
  • • 
    A minority of patients (19%) required urological procedures during the final 3 years of life.
  • • 
    A history of surgery or radiation did not influence the overall risk for urological intervention.