Only a minority of end-stage prostate cancer (PCa) patients undergo urologic procedures during their final three years of life, according to the first population-based study of its kind.

David F. Jarrard, MD, of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine in Madison, and colleagues used the Marshfield Epidemiological Study Area (MESA) database and tumor registry to compare end-of-life interventions in men who died from PCar between 1991 and 2009. Of 280 men dying from PCa, 52 (19%) required 153 urological procedures during the last three years of life, the researchers reported online ahead of print in BJU International. The frequency of procedures increased the closer patients were to death. The most common procedures involved placement of a nephrostomy tube (56%) or Foley catheter (24%) and transurethral resection of the prostate (10%).

A history of surgery or radiation did not influence the overall risk for urologic intervention, and clinicopathologic features did not predict the need for an end-of-life urological procedure, according to the investigators.

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The study incorporated both hospital- and office-based procedures.