Jun 25, 2013 - 4:44 pm
TUESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- "The use of advanced prostate cancer treatments has increased among men who arguably will derive little benefit from the expensive new technologies, a new study suggests.
The use of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and robotic prostatectomy to treat prostate cancer patients at low risk of dying from the disease increased from 32 percent in 2004 to 44 percent in 2009, researchers found in reviewing Medicare patient data............."
"The research team, led by doctors at the University of Michigan, reviewed thousands of Medicare patient records, focusing on men who underwent treatment using IMRT, EBRT, robotic prostatectomy, open radical prostatectomy or observation.
IMRT uses multiple small radiation beams to precisely target a tumor, changing the intensity and shape of the beams to reduce exposure of healthy tissue and limit side effects. Robotic prostatectomy uses robot technology to create precise incisions that are more likely to spare the nerves surrounding the prostate.
The researchers found that the older, time-tested procedures are being shunted aside in favor of the more advanced technologies, which could have a huge impact on health care spending in the United States ......."
Seems like spending is now the issue .... not patient care. A link to the full article follows.