Objective: Previous work has shown that urologists and radiation oncologists prefer the treatment that they themselves deliver when treating clinically localized prostate cancer. Our objective was to determine whether Canadian radiation oncologists and urologists have similar biases in favour of the treatments that they themselves deliver for localized prostate cancer.
Methods: We developed a survey to poll the beliefs that Canadian radiation oncologists and urologists held toward prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening, survival benefits of treatment, recommendations for treatment of prostate cancer and the likelihood of side effects with each therapy.
Results: Urologists were more likely to recommend routine PSA screening for men up to age 70 (p < 0.001), while radiation oncologists were more likely to recommend PSA screening for men over age 80 (p < 0.04). More urologists felt that there was "definitely" a survival advantage with radical prostatectomy (RP) (60% v. 21%, p < 0.001). More radiation oncologists recommend external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) (p < 0.01) or brachytherapy (p < 0.03) to treat low-risk prostate cancer. More urologists than radiation oncologists recommend RP for intermediate-risk patients (98% v. 70%, p < 0.001).
Conclusion: Most Canadian urologists and radiation oncologists recommend routine PSA screening for men aged 50 to 70. A significant preference was detected among both urologists and radiation oncologists for the treatment that they themselves deliver. While both urologists and radiation oncologists recommend prostatectomy for the treatment of low-risk localized prostate cancer, urologists are significantly less likely to recommend EBRT. Conversely, when patients present with intermediate-risk prostate cancer, radiation oncologists were significantly less likely than urologists to recommend a prostatectomy.