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Nina N. Sanford, David J. Sher, Xiaohan Xu, Chul Ahn, Anthony V. D’Amico, Ayal A. Aizer and Brandon A. Mahal

Background: Alcohol use is an established risk factor for several malignancies and is associated with adverse oncologic outcomes among individuals diagnosed with cancer. The prevalence and patterns of alcohol use among cancer survivors are poorly described. Methods: We used the National Health Interview Survey from 2000 to 2017 to examine alcohol drinking prevalence and patterns among adults reporting a cancer diagnosis. Multivariable logistic regression was used to define the association between demographic and socioeconomic variables and odds of self-reporting as a current drinker, exceeding moderate drinking limits, and engaging in binge drinking. The association between specific cancer type and odds of drinking were assessed. Results: Among 34,080 survey participants with a known cancer diagnosis, 56.5% self-reported as current drinkers, including 34.9% who exceeded moderate drinking limits and 21.0% who engaged in binge drinking. Younger age, smoking history, and more recent survey period were associated with higher odds of current, exceeding moderate, and binge drinking (P<.001 for all, except P=.008 for excess drinking). Similar associations persisted when the cohort was limited to 20,828 cancer survivors diagnosed ≥5 years before survey administration. Diagnoses of melanoma and cervical, head and neck, and testicular cancers were associated with higher odds of binge drinking (P<.05 for all) compared with other cancer diagnoses. Conclusions: Most cancer survivors self-report as current alcohol drinkers, including a subset who seem to engage in excessive drinking behaviors. Given that alcohol intake has implications for cancer prevention and is a potentially modifiable risk factor for cancer-specific outcomes, the high prevalence of alcohol use among cancer survivors highlights the need for public health strategies aimed at the reduction of alcohol consumption.

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Ayal A. Aizer, Xiangmei Gu, Ming-Hui Chen, Toni K. Choueiri, Neil E. Martin, Jason A. Efstathiou, Andrew S. Hyatt, Powell L. Graham, Quoc-Dien Trinh, Jim C. Hu and Paul L. Nguyen

Background: Evidence-based consensus guidelines recommend only observation for men with low-risk prostate cancer and life expectancy less than 10 years. This report describes the incidence, drivers, cost, and morbidity of overtreatment of low-risk prostate cancer within the United States. Methods: The SEER-Medicare Program was used to identify 11,744 men aged 66 years or older diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer in 2004 through 2007. Overtreatment of prostate cancer was defined as definitive treatment of a patient with a life expectancy of less than 10 years. Expected survival was estimated using NCCN methodology. Costs were the amount paid by Medicare in years after minus year before diagnosis. Toxicities were relevant Medicare diagnoses/interventions. P values are 2-sided. Results: Of 3001 men with low-risk prostate cancer and a life expectancy of less than 10 years, 2011 men (67%) were overtreated. On multivariable logistic regression, overtreated men were more likely to be married (odds ratio [OR], 1.29; 95% CI, 1.05–1.59; P=.02), reside in affluent regions (P<.001), and harbor more advanced disease at diagnosis (P<.001). Two-year toxicity was greater in overtreated patients (P<.001). Relative to active surveillance/watchful waiting/observation, the median additional cost per definitive treatment was $18,827 over 5 years; the cumulative annual cost attributable to overtreatment in the United States was $58.7 million. The ability to avoid treating the 80% of men with low-grade disease who will never die of prostate cancer would save $1.32 billion per year nationally. Conclusions: Overtreatment of low-risk prostate cancer is partially driven by sociodemographic factors and occurs frequently, with marked impact on patient quality of life and health-related costs.

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Ayal A. Aizer, Jonathan J. Paly, Anthony L. Zietman, Paul L. Nguyen, Clair J. Beard, Sandhya K. Rao, Irving D. Kaplan, Andrzej Niemierko, Michelle S. Hirsch, Chin-Lee Wu, Aria F. Olumi, M. Dror Michaelson, Anthony V. D’Amico and Jason A. Efstathiou

NCCN Guidelines recommend active surveillance as the primary management option for patients with very-low-risk prostate cancer and an expected survival of less than 20 years, reflecting the favorable prognosis of these men and the lack of perceived benefit of immediate, definitive treatment. The authors hypothesized that care at a multidisciplinary clinic, where multiple physicians have an opportunity to simultaneously review and discuss each case, is associated with increased rates of active surveillance in men with very-low-risk prostate cancer, including those with limited life expectancy. Of 630 patients with low-risk prostate cancer managed at 1 of 3 tertiary care centers in Boston, Massachusetts in 2009, 274 (43.5%) had very-low-risk classification. Patients were either seen by 1 or more individual practitioners in sequential settings or at a multidisciplinary clinic, in which concurrent consultation with 2 or more of the following specialties was obtained: urology, radiation oncology, and medical oncology. Patients seen at a multidisciplinary prostate cancer clinic were more likely to select active surveillance than those seen by individual practitioners (64% vs 30%; P<.001), an association that remained significant on multivariable logistic regression (odds ratio [OR], 4.16; P<.001). When the analysis was limited to patients with an expected survival of less than 20 years, this association remained highly significant (72% vs 34%, P<.001; OR, 5.19; P<.001, respectively). Multidisciplinary care is strongly associated with selection of active surveillance, adherence to NCCN Guidelines and minimization of overtreatment in patients with very-low-risk prostate cancer.