We aimed to determine patterns in frequency of radiotherapy for prostate cancer and definitive surgical management. There is prospective evidence indicating benefits of radiotherapy for some patients after radical prostatectomy (prostatectomy), with recent evidence suggesting benefit of early salvage radiotherapy. Trends in postoperative radiotherapy have not been elucidated. We analyzed the National Cancer Database for prostate cancer patients treated with curative-intent therapy between 2004 and 2016. Patients were risk stratified according to NCCN treatment guidelines. Linear regression was utilized to examine trends in treatment with initial prostatectomy and trends in postoperative radiotherapy among treatment risk groups. Multivariable logistic regression was utilized to examine clinical-demographic variables associated with prostatectomy and postoperative radiotherapy. From 2004 to 2016, 508,450 patients received prostatectomy and 370,314 received radiotherapy. Median age was 63.6 years. There was increased utilization of prostatectomy from 47.9% in 2004 to 61.3% in 2016 (p <0.001). 24,466 cases received postoperative radiotherapy. Similarly, postoperative radiotherapy utilization increased from 2.2% in 2004 to 4.0% in 2016 (p <0.001). The subgroup with the largest increase in postoperative radiotherapy was clinically high-risk disease (5.3% in 2004 to 7.8% in 2016 (p 20 ng/ml (OR 1.489) were factors predictive for postoperative radiotherapy. The proportion of prostate cancer patients who undergo definitive prostatectomy and postoperative radiotherapy is increasing. This increase is greatest in high-risk cases. Overall, the proportion of patients who receive any radiotherapy is decreasing. Association with preclinical factors suggests optimization of patient selection should be considered.© 2020 The Authors. Cancer Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.