Men age 67 years or older with prostate cancer were 37% more likely to be hospitalized for noncancer reasons after their cancer diagnosis than before their diagnosis, a report in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network has shown.1
The management of other existing noncancer health conditions is more challenging after a cancer diagnosis. Furthermore, these chronic conditions may worsen to where hospitalization is needed.
“The study findings underscore the necessity of targeted research, program, policy, and intervention efforts required to reduce the incidence of non-cancer–related hospitalizations in elderly men with prostate cancer,” said Amit D. Raval, PhD, Department of Pharmaceutical Systems and Policy, School of Pharmacy, West Virginia University in Morgantown, and lead author of the study.
“Effective communication between oncologists and primary care physicians should be facilitated in order to design and implement individualized care programs for patients, taking into account their preexisting conditions, in order to lead to optimal outcomes for the patient.”
This retrospective study used data from the SEER-Medicare linked database for 2000 through 2010. The cohort included 57 489 men age 67 years or older with incident prostate cancer.
The rate of hospitalizations for noncancer reasons was 37% higher after cancer diagnosis than before diagnosis. The authors suggested that this may be because cancer treatment distracts from other health care problems, or that stress and anxiety may make other health care problems worse.
Further analysis found a greater increase in the risk of noncancer-related hospitalizations after diagnosis versus before cancer diagnosis for patients with cardiac or endocrine conditions alone or combined with respiratory or mental health conditions.
The authors concluded that “elderly men with prostate cancer had a significant increase in the risk of noncancer hospitalizations after the diagnosis of prostate cancer.” They suggested that the study highlights the need to reduce the excess noncancer hospitalizations through interventions for elderly men after prostate cancer diagnosis.
1. Raval AD, Madhavan S, Mattes MD, et al. Impact of prostate cancer diagnosis on noncancer hospitalizations among elderly Medicare beneficiaries with incident prostate cancer. J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2016;14:186-194.