“Yale-led study examines the potential environmental benefits of more carefully selecting patients for prostate biopsy in a way that can also spare low-yield and potentially harmful procedures.
Yale School of Medicine Associate Professor of Urology Michael Leapman, MD, MHS, and coauthors across seven other U.S. institutions estimated the environmental impacts of prostate magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] and prostate biopsy, procedures that are part of the diagnostic process for patients with known or suspected prostate cancer. Overall, they estimate that performing both an MRI and biopsy is similar to going on a “round-trip flight from London to Paris,” in terms of energy used, staff travel, and supply production. Their research, using cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment methodology, was published in the January issue of the journal European Urology.
Study investigators say the overarching message is that sustainability efforts should be aligned with patient interests and evidence-based care. “We continue to see many medical and diagnostic procedures being used more often than recommended by clinical guidelines – increasing health care costs and in some cases, directly harming patients,” says Leapman. “A dimension that has been less well studied is the environmental impact of care that is already considered low-value or unnecessary. In this analysis, we estimate the carbon footprint of a prostate biopsy, then extrapolate the potential environmental benefits of adopting various evidence-based approaches,” continues Leapman, who specializes in the treatment of patients with prostate and genitourinary cancers and serves as clinical leader of the Prostate & Urologic Cancers Program at Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital.”
Source: Estimating the Environmental Impact of Certain Prostate Cancer Procedures < Urology