The cost of prostate cancer treatment varies and depends on the therapy a man initially receives, according to a new study.
Men with early stage prostate cancer can choose from a variety of treatments including surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, watchful waiting or combinations of each.
Researchers from Johns Hopkins wanted to know how the initial treatment received by men affects both short- and long-term medical care costs. They analyzed data on more than 13,000 men who were diagnosed in 2000 and were followed for five years. The men were divided into groups based on which cancer treatment they received during the first nine months after being diagnosed.
Results showed, for most prostate cancer cases, costs were highest in the first year and then dropped and remained steady for the next several years. However, cost patterns varied depending on the initial treatment received.
Watchful waiting had the lowest initial ($4,270) and five-year costs ($9,130). Hormone therapy plus radiation had the highest initial cost ($17,474) followed by surgery ($15,197). Hormonal therapy had the highest five-year total costs ($26,896).
Researchers say these findings provide new insight for patients, doctors and others involved in prostate cancer care.
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