Patient Perceptions Regarding Routine Oncologic Follow-Up for Urologic Malignancies

Published:January 27, 2022DOI:



      In colorectal, cervical, and breast cancers, oncologic follow-up can exacerbate or alleviate patient stress about disease recurrence. Such patient experiences are less well defined for urologic malignancies. We developed a cross-sectional prospective survey study to assess kidney (Kid), prostate (Pros), and bladder (Bld) cancer patient perceptions of oncologic follow-up following surgical treatment.

      Patients and Methods

      Patients with pTanyNanyM0 Kid, Pros, and Bld cancer presenting at least 60 days following primary surgical treatment of their cancer were eligible. Receipt of adjuvant therapy or disease recurrence were exclusion criteria. Questionnaires assessing attitudes towards follow-up and stress-reducing strategies were administered prior to revealing testing results. Analysis was performed according to cancer type and level of recurrence risk, with pathologic stage used a proxy for recurrence risk.


      Three hundred thirty-seven patients were prospectively surveyed from 2018 to 2020: 127 (38%) Kid, 134 (40%) Pros, and 76 (23%) Bld. Patients showed satisfaction with provided strategies to combat recurrence anxiety (Kid 86%, Pros 81%, Bld 85%). However, approximately 16% of patients reported wanting, but not receiving, strategies for fear reduction. Most patients reported diagnostic tests were “Not at All” burdensome (Kid 86%, Pros 94%, Bld 82%) and disagree that fewer tests would alleviate anxiety (Kid 89%, Pros 91%, Bld 84%). The majority reported an increased sense of worry if there were no cancer follow-ups (Kid 84%, Pros 80%, Kid 81%), and preferred their specialist to their family physician to direct such care (Kid 89%, Pros 91%, Bld 95%). When stratified by recurrence risk, no significant differences existed across cancers in patients’ attitudes toward follow-up. However, Pros cancer patients showed a difference in fear of recurrence (“Not at All” worried about recurrence ≤T2 38%, ≥T3, 19%; P= .04).


      Urology patients appear satisfied with their oncologic follow-up. Sixteen percent of patients sought additional strategies to combat fear, indicating opportunity for improvement.


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