When Primary Care Providers (PCPs) Help Patients Choose Prostate Cancer Treatment

In the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, Archana Radhakrishnan, David Grande, Nandita Mitra, Justin Bekelman, and colleagues evaluate how frequently men with localized prostate cancer report receiving help from their primary care provider (PCP) about their treatment, and whether men who do are less likely to receive definitive treatment (either radical prostatectomy or radiotherapy). The investigators mailed surveys to men newly diagnosed with localized prostate cancer between 2012 and 2014 in the greater Philadelphia region. A total of 2,386 men responded. Among these men, 38.2% reported receiving help from their PCP regarding choosing a treatment, and 79.6% received definitive treatment. In adjusted analyses, non-Hispanic black men were more likely than non-Hispanic white men to report receiving help from their PCP. However, men who did receive help were not more likely to forgo definitive treatment overall or in the subgroups of men who may be least likely to benefit from definitive treatment. Though a substantial proportion of men reported receiving help from their PCP about prostate cancer treatment, these discussions were not associated with different treatment patterns. Further effort is needed to determine how to optimize the role of PCPs in supporting patients to make preference-sensitive cancer decisions.