Study: Prostate cancer incidence down, but robotic surgery for it up

The incidence of prostate cancer has declined in recent years, but the use of prostatectomy increased by nearly 50 percent from 2005 to 2008, coinciding with the adoption of robotic technology for the procedure, Charles Bankhead of MedPage Today reports.

The findings, by a research team led by Dr. Hugh J. Lavery of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, were presented at a meeting of the American Urological Association.

Bankhead cites comments by session moderator Dr. James Montie, who noted that the use of radiation therapy to treat prostate cancer is also increasing. “More people are being treated with supposed definitive therapy,” he said. “Why is that, in an era when the incidence is going down and there is no reason to believe that the disease is a lot more dangerous than it used to be? It raises issues about utilization.”