Prostate cancer patients are more likely to get radiation therapy when it financially benefits their urologist, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine. However, several major urology organizations say that the use of radiation is employed because doctors and patients prefer less-invasive treatments than the alternative of a minor surgical procedure, even though radiation is twice as expensive. There is a controversy about whether urologists should be involved in providing the IMRT therapy, instead of referring to an independent oncologist.
Dr. Deepak Kapoor addresses the “shoddy science” used in the Mitchel study written about in the NEJM, and advocates for the less invasive option if the outcome is equivalent.”
Science journalist Gavin Stern reported on the issue in his article, Prostate cancer radiation: Conflict of interest or better care?