Functional status, a person’s ability to perform normal activities of daily living, is associated with treatment choice for patients with prostate cancer, a study published in the journal Cancer has shown.1

Because what impact, if any, a patient’s functional status has on treatment decision is unclear, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh sought to investigate the association between functional status among older adults with prostate cancer.

For the study, investigators analyzed data from 1306 patients age 65 years or older with prostate cancer diagnosed between 1998 and 2009 included in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database. Of those, 508 were conservative management patients, 195 had surgery, and 603 underwent radiation treatment.

Continue Reading

Functional status was evaluated as 4 measures: activities of daily living, physical component summary score, survey completion, and mental component summary score.

Results showed that patients with dependency for performing daily living activities had a lower likelihood of receiving surgery (odds ratio [OR], 0.61; 95% CI, 0.38-0.99) or radiation (OR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.43-0.78) vs conservative management compared with those with no dependency.

Researchers also found that patients unable to complete a survey themselves and required a proxy to complete it were less likely to receive surgery or radiation than conservative management.

Of note, this study did not examine whether the association between functional status and treatment choice was due to physician recommendations, patient preferences, or a combination of both.


1. Jacobs BL, Lopa SH, Yabes JG, Nelson JB, Barnato AE, Degenholtz HB. Association of functional status and treatment choice among older men with prostate cancer in the Medicare Advantage population. Cancer. 2016 Jul 5. doi: 10.1002/cncr.30184. [Epub ahead of print]