Background: Routine cancer surveillance with positron emission tomography (PET) is not recommended for most patients who have completed curative treatment for cancer. Yet, recent trends suggest that PET is increasingly used for follow-up among patients with cancer. This study investigates whether information-seeking behaviors predicted self-reported utilization of PET for routine surveillance in patients with colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer.
Methods: We conducted annual surveys for 3 years in a cohort of Pennsylvania cancer survivors diagnosed with colorectal, breast, or prostate cancer in 2005. The outcome was self-reported PET receipt for routine surveillance among 944 patients diagnosed with nonmetastatic disease (stages 0–III). Predictors included cancer-related information seeking from nonmedical sources and providers. Weighted multiple logistic regression analyses were performed.
Results: In this population, 11% of patients reported receiving at least one PET scan for routine follow-up in a 12-month period several years after diagnosis. Seeking cancer-related information from nonmedical sources was associated with higher odds of subsequent reported PET use [OR, 3.7; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.1–12.1; P = 0.032], after adjusting for potential confounders. Patient engagement with physicians about cancer-related information was not a significant predictor.
Conclusions: Overall reported PET utilization for routine surveillance of colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer is low. However, we found a significant association with information seeking from nonmedical sources but not from providers.
Impact: Exposure to cancer-related information through mass media and lay interpersonal sources may be driving inappropriate utilization of high-cost advanced imaging procedures. These findings have important implications for cancer survivors, healthcare providers, and health policy.
- cancer survivor,
- PET scan,
- information seeking,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/andysltan/17/