Purpose: Laser vaporization of the prostate is widely used to treat lower urinary tract symptoms. It may decrease the hospital cost and morbidity associated with transurethral resection of the prostate. However, prostate cancer may go undetected because tissue is not taken at laser vaporization. To our knowledge the rate of clinically significant prostate cancer missed by laser vaporization has not been assessed to date. We determined the rate of clinically significant prostate cancer detected by transurethral resection of the prostate compared to the estimated number of cancers missed by laser vaporization. Materials and Methods: A total of 74,505 men diagnosed with stage T1 prostate cancer between 2004 and 2006 were identified from the SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results) program in the United States. The total number of laser vaporizations and transurethral resections were calculated based on Medicare claims for the same period. Clinically significant cancer was defined as that with a Gleason score of 7 or greater in men 40 to 75 years old. Results: If prostate specific antigen screening were used uniformly (excluding men with prostate specific antigen greater than 4 ng/ml), only 1 of 382 transurethral resections of the prostate would identify clinically significant prostate cancer for a total of 390 in the American population in 3 years. Based on Medicare reported laser vaporization use a total of only 163 clinically significant cancers would be missed in more than 60,000 procedures. Conclusions: The incidence of T1a and T1b prostate cancer remains low and few patients have clinically significant prostate cancer. When prostate specific antigen screening is used, the number of clinically significant tumors missed by ablative procedures is low (average of 0.26% of all procedures) and can be identified by prostate specific antigen screening.
- laser therapy
- prostate-specific antigen
- prostatic neoplasms
- transurethral resection of prostate
ASJC Scopus subject areas