Active Surveillance| Volume 155, P83-90, September 2021

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Urologists’ Perceptions of Active Surveillance and Their Recommendations for Low-risk Prostate Cancer Patients

Published:January 18, 2021DOI:



      To assess practicing urologists’ attitudes and perceptions of active surveillance (AS) and other treatment options for low-risk prostate cancer.


      This was a cross-sectional survey of urologists practicing in Michigan and Georgia. Urologists were asked about perceptions and practices pertaining to AS.


      Overall, 225 urologists completed the survey; 147 (65%) were from Michigan and 78 (35%) were from Georgia. Most urologists reported they provided (99%), discussed (97%), and offered (61%) AS to all of their low-risk patients. Most believed AS is effective (97%) and underused (90%), while 80% agreed that curative therapy (surgery, radiation) is overused in the United States. Although most (79%) endorse that Black men are more likely to have aggressive low-risk disease, 89% reported feeling comfortable recommending AS to Black men. In multivariable analysis, significant provider-related predictors of AS recommendation were practice location, number of years in practice, beliefs pertaining to survival benefit of prostatectomy and effectiveness of AS, and expectation that patients are not interested in AS. The patient characteristics of race, age, life expectancy, fear of cancer progression, and fear of treatment side effects were also significant predictors of AS recommendations.


      Most urologists surveyed stated that AS is effective and underused for low-risk prostate cancer . Overall, urologists are much less likely to recommend AS to younger men and slightly less to Black men. AS recommendations varied by practice location and by years in practice. These findings indicate targeted educational efforts in the US are needed to influence urologists toward greater acceptance of AS.
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