Geographic, age, and racial variation in the treatment of local/regional carcinoma of the prostate

Linda Harlan, Otis Brawley, Forrest Pommerenke, Promod Wall, Barnett Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


Purpose: Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. Incidence rates increase with age and are substantially higher in black men than white men. This study examines the variations in the use of radical prostatectomy and radiation by geographic area, age, and race. Materials and Methods: Data from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End-Results Program (SEER) were used to examine treatment differences. Current treatments generally consist of prostatectomy, radiation, or careful observation for clinically localized or regional disease. Results: The age-adjusted proportion of men, age 50 and older, who received radical prostatectomy increased sharply between 1984 and 1991, from 11.0% to 32.3% among men with local/regional disease. The choice of treatment varied widely by geographic regions. In 1991, the proportion that received prostatectomy was highest in Utah (47.8%) and lowest in Connecticut (22.5%) among men with localized and regional disease. The increase in radical prostatectomy was not limited to younger men. Although the rates increased for blacks, black men had lower age-adjusted rates of prostatectomy than whites in all years of the study. Conclusion: The SEER data show a clear trend toward more aggressive treatment, especially prostatectomy. However, the proportion of black men who received prostatectomy was substantially lower than that of white men and this disparity does not appear to be changing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-100
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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