Introduction: Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer. Survival rates are high, making preventive care maintenance important. Factors associated with prostate-cancer cases' preventive care in the short-term (Year 1) and long-term (Year 5), and how survivors' care compares to non-cancer controls, require study.
Methods: This retrospective, controlled SEER-Medicare study included loco-regional prostate cancer cases age ≥ 66 in fee-for-service Medicare diagnosed in 2000 and surviving ≥ 12 months, and non-cancer controls matched to cases on socio-demographics and survival. Outcomes included influenza vaccination, cholesterol screening, and colorectal cancer screening. Independent variables were number of physician visits, physician specialties visited, initial prostate cancer treatment, socio-demographic characteristics, and case-control status.
Results: There were 13,507 cases and 13,507 controls in Year 1, and 10,482 cases and 10,482 controls in Year 5. In Years 1 and 5, total number of visits (6/6 outcomes) and primary care provider (PCP) visits (5/6 outcomes) were most consistently associated with preventive care receipt. In Year 1, prostate cancer cases were more likely than controls to receive influenza vaccination (48% vs. 45%) but less likely to receive colorectal cancer screening (29% vs. 31%) (both p < 0.0001). In Year 5, prostate cancer cases remained more likely than controls to receive influenza vaccination (46% vs. 44%; p < 0.0001).
Conclusions: Differences in survivors' short-term preventive care did not lead to worse long-term preventive care. The number of physician visits, particularly PCP visits, are important factors associated with appropriate care.
Implications for cancer survivors: PCP involvement in prostate cancer patients' care is critical both during treatment and for long-term survivors.