Objective: To examine how frequently patients report that their urologist recommended forgoing definitive treatment and assess the impact of these recommendations on treatment choice and perceived quality of cancer care. Methods: We mailed surveys to men newly diagnosed with localized prostate cancer between 2014 and 2015 (adjusted response rate of 51.3%). Men reported whether their urologist recommended forgoing definitive treatment. Using logistic regression models, we assessed patient-level predictors of receiving a recommendation to forgo definitive treatment and estimated associations of receiving this recommendation with receipt of definitive treatment and perceived quality of cancer care among men with low-risk tumors and limited life expectancies. Results: Nearly two-thirds (62.2%) of men with low-risk tumors and 46.4% with limited life expectancies received recommendations from their urologists to forgo definitive treatment. Among men with limited life expectancies, those with low-risk tumors were more likely to receive this recommendation compared with men with high-risk tumors (odds ratio [OR] 3.41; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.17-5.37). Men with low-risk tumors who were recommended to forgo definitive treatment were less likely to receive definitive treatment (OR 0.48; 95% CI 0.32-0.73) but did not report lower perceived quality of care (OR 0.97; 95% CI 0.63-1.48). Conclusion: In this population-based study, a majority of men with low-risk prostate cancer report receiving recommendations from their urologists to forgo definitive treatment. Our results suggest that urologists have a strong influence on patient treatment choice and could increase active surveillance uptake in men eligible for expectant management without patients perceiving lower quality of cancer care.
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