Objective: To investigate the effect of efforts in the early detection of prostate cancer using prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing in the USA, by estimating the regional prevalence of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) among older men in 1993-2000, and correlating the prevalence with early detection and aggressive treatment rates in 1987-91, as some authors predicted that ADT, a treatment traditionally reserved for advanced prostate cancer, would become less common over time as a result of such efforts.
Patients and methods: A sample of 5% of men who were Medicare beneficiaries was used in this prospective population-based cohort study. The main outcome measures were the overall prevalence of ADT (medical and surgical) in the cohort from 1993 to 2000, and correlations between rates of prostate procedures in the 306 USA hospital referral regions in 1987-91 and prevalence of ADT in those regions from 1993 to 2000.
Results: The prevalence of ADT among these men in the USA increased steadily from 1.8% in 1993 to 2.9% in 2000 (P < 0.001). Regions with higher rates of prostate biopsy in 1987-91 had a higher prevalence of ADT in 1993, 1995 and 1997 (P < 0.05). Regions with higher rates of transurethral prostatectomy in 1987-91 had a higher prevalence of ADT in 1993-2000 (P < 0.01). Regions with higher rates of radical prostatectomy in 1987-91 had higher rates of ADT in 1993-99 (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Widespread early detection and aggressive treatment for prostate cancer in the USA has been associated with more, not less, ADT among older men over time.