What Does A Urologist Do For Prostate Cancer
Before delving into the question of what a urologist does for prostate cancer, it can be helpful to understand exactly what a urologist is. A urologist is a physician who specializes in conditions affecting the urinary tract as well as conditions affecting the male reproductive system . In addition to treating prostate cancer, a urologist may treat conditions such as kidney stones, urinary tract infections and male infertility.
With regard to prostate cancer, many patients receive their diagnosis from a urologist. If a urologist suspects prostate cancer after performing a physical examination and a digital rectal examination and/or a prostate-specific antigen test , he or she will likely perform a prostate biopsy and order additional imaging tests.
If prostate cancer is present, the urologist will generally assign a Gleason score, which indicates how likely the cancer is to metastasize, or spread. In cases where surgery is necessary to remove cancerous tissue, the urologist may perform a procedure such as a laparoscopic radical prostatectomy. Other aspects of prostate cancer treatment are handled by specialists in other fields, such as oncology and radiology.
Radiation Therapy For Prostate Cancer
Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays or particles to kill cancer cells. Depending on the stage of the prostate cancer and other factors, radiation therapy might be used:
- As the first treatment for cancer that is still just in the prostate gland and is low grade. Cure rates for men with these types of cancers are about the same as those for men treated with radical prostatectomy.
- As part of the first treatment for cancers that have grown outside the prostate gland and into nearby tissues.
- If the cancer is not removed completely or comes back in the area of the prostate after surgery.
- If the cancer is advanced, to help keep the cancer under control for as long as possible and to help prevent or relieve symptoms.
Diagnosis And Imaging Services For Prostate Cancer
At UT Southwestern, our dedication to precision starts with prompt and accurate diagnosis. Our highly accurate diagnostic techniques include:
- Digital rectal examinations
- TRUS/MRI-guided biopsy
- Ultrasound-guided biopsy
If a patient is diagnosed with prostate cancer, our physicians will develop a unique plan of care. Because the disease usually grows slowly, we might recommend a watch-and-wait approach, also known as active surveillance, which involves close monitoring without treatment.
For patients who do require treatment, we offer advanced techniques that include medical therapies, radiation therapy, and surgery.
Our urologists and radiologists work together to provide additional options for men with suspected or confirmed prostate cancer, including MRI-guided transurethral ultrasound ablation of the prostate .
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Physicians With Special Experience
There are three categories of physician who are liable to have more experience in the management of prostate cancer than physicians in general:
Urologists Urologists are specially trained in the management of disorders of the male and female urogenital systems. Urologists are surgeons who have then subspecialized in urology. In America the majority of urologists are members of the American Urological Association . A relatively select group of urologists consider themselves to be subspecialists in urological cancers, including prostate cancer. Many of these subspecialists will belong to an organization called the Society of Urologic Oncology and/or the Society of Surgical Oncology . The majority of urologists are board certified by some appropriate organization which means that they have passed a rigorous evaluation of their knowledge and experience. In America a board certified urologist would be certified by the American Board of Urology. In Canada, the comparable organization is the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Nearly every country in the world has a system like this to certify the abilities of specific types of physician.
We know of no formal North American organization that is specifically coordinated for physicians who specialize in cryosurgery . Cryotherapy specialists are likely to have trained in some other specialty first. There is also no board certification in cryosurgery. There is, however, an International Society of Cryosurgery.
Treatments For Prostate Cancer
If you have prostate cancer, your healthcare team will create a treatment plan just for you. It will be based on your health and specific information about the cancer. When deciding which treatments to offer for prostate cancer, your healthcare team will consider:
- the type and stage of the cancer
- the grade or Gleason score
- prostate-specific antigen levels
- the risk group
- possible side effects of treatments
- your personal preferences
- your overall health and any existing medical conditions
- your age and life expectancy
- whether you have symptoms
Prostate cancer treatments can seriously affect your quality of life and cause side effects such as erectile dysfunction and incontinence . Many prostate cancers grow slowly and cause no symptoms or problems.
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A Multidisciplinary Model For Prostate Cancer
To receive the best care possible for prostate cancer, you should seek care from a multidisciplinary medical team. This means that a group of health care professionals from different specialties work together to decide how best to prolong the length and quality of your life. To know if your medical providers are truly working as a team to help you stay as healthy as possible, ask if they hold regularly scheduled meetings that include all team members to discuss your status. You may want to attend such a meeting or ask for a briefing on it.
What Insurance Plans Do You Participate With
We participate in almost all plans. However, if you cannot find us listed in your Participating Provider Directory, you can contact the office financial counselor, in each of our locations, or call the insurance plans Customer Service Department to confirm our participation status. This number is listed on your insurance card.
Consider A Second Opinion
Seeking a second opinion following a prostate cancer diagnosis is very common and doing so can make you feel more confident in the treatment decision that you make. Its OK to get a second opinion at any point during your care. Here are some reasons you might consider getting a second opinion:
- To understand all available treatment options and have peace of mind with your treatment decision
- To get the opinion of another prostate cancer expert
- To confirm a diagnosis or treatment plan
- To hear information about your cancer explained in a different way
- To share the opinion of more than one healthcare expert with your insurance company
Some people find it hard to tell their doctors that theyd like a second opinion. Your doctor shouldnt discourage you from getting a second opinion. If you are unsure of how to begin, here are a few ways to start the conversation:
- Im thinking of getting a second opinion. Can you recommend someone?
- Before we start treatment, Id like to get a second opinion. Will you help me with that?
- If you had my type of cancer, who would you see for a second opinion?
- I think that Id like to talk with another doctor to be sure I have all my bases covered.
External Beam Radiation Therapy
In EBRT, beams of radiation are focused on the prostate gland from a machine outside the body. This type of radiation can be used to try to cure earlier stage cancers, or to help relieve symptoms such as bone pain if the cancer has spread to a specific area of bone.
You will usually go for treatment 5 days a week in an outpatient center for at least several weeks, depending on why the radiation is being given. Each treatment is much like getting an x-ray. The radiation is stronger than that used for an x-ray, but the procedure typically is painless. Each treatment lasts only a few minutes, although the setup time getting you into place for treatment takes longer.
Newer EBRT techniques focus the radiation more precisely on the tumor. This lets doctors give higher doses of radiation to the tumor while reducing the radiation exposure to nearby healthy tissues.
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Targeted Prostate Cancer Treatment Options Designed To Help Patients Outperform Standardizedtreatment Models
If you have prostate cancer you understand like we do that your cancer can be extremely difficult to treat andlasting results can be scarce. Stage four prostate cancer is known for having an extremely low five-year survival ratewhen being treated by standard oncology. Even patients who catch their prostate cancer early and have their prostateremoved may still experience elevated PSA levels and micrometastasis with no actual tumor to be found. Either way,many prostate cancer patients do not easily achieve remission with standard chemotherapy regimens andtestosterone-blocking agents, but why? Why are late-stage and recurrent prostate cancer patients less likely torespond when standard protocols have been apparently successful in treating prostate cancer in the earlier stages ofthe disease?
Envita Medical Centers doesn’t make any guarantee of outcomes. Results are not typical and will varyfromperson to person and should not be expected.
Envita is an integrative center of excellence for personalized oncology and specializes in developing world-classintegrative cancer treatments that utilize your unique genetic make-up in combination with immunotherapy and amultifaceted targeted approach to provide high-quality personalized care. With nearly two decades of research andclinical experience, Envita has been advancing medical technology to help our patients achieve favorable outcomes.
Innovative Treatments For Advanced Prostate Care
The nature and the severity of your prostate cancer will determine the type of treatment plan we recommend. Since more than half of the patients diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer do not need treatment for at least 15 years, you may not require any treatment if your condition is considered low-risk. We may enroll you in our active surveillance program where we closely monitor your cancer. This allows a more conservative approach rather than active treatment which can significantly affect your quality of life.
If your cancer is more severe, there are a number of innovative prostate cancer treatment options we may incorporate into your individualized plan. In addition to more traditional chemotherapy or radiation therapies, we provide more advanced treatment options,including:
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Considering Complementary And Alternative Methods
You may hear about alternative or complementary methods that your doctor hasnt mentioned to treat your cancer or relieve symptoms. These methods can include vitamins, herbs, and special diets, or other methods such as acupuncture or massage, to name a few.
Complementary methods refer to treatments that are used along with your regular medical care. Alternative treatments are used instead of a doctors medical treatment. Although some of these methods might be helpful in relieving symptoms or helping you feel better, many have not been proven to work. Some might even be harmful.
Be sure to talk to your cancer care team about any method you are thinking about using. They can help you learn what is known about the method, which can help you make an informed decision.
Prostate Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment Available Throughout The Cleveland Area
To ensure optimal access and convenience for our patients, our cancer specialists at UH Seidman Cancer Center provide appointments across our region. Our team is available to see patients at locations on the west side, east side, south side and main campus. If you would like more information on our advanced prostate cancer diagnostic and treatment services, contact us today.
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Which Is Better For Treating Prostate Cancer An Oncologist Or A Urologist
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Finding The Medical Oncologist Who Is Right For You: One Specialists Opinion
Some prostate cancer patients may never feel the need to see a medical oncologist others may want an oncology consult soon after diagnosis and a third group of patients may not see an oncologist until other forms of treatment have failed. Many men with prostate cancer are not even sure what role a medical oncologist has in their care. However you get there, when you decide you need to see a medical oncologist, you are going to want to find the right one for you. We asked Andrew Armstrong, MD, MSc to talk about how he would approach this need. Dr. Armstrong is a board-certified medical oncologist and an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Surgery specializing in management of prostate and other genitourinary cancers at the Duke Prostate Center, part of the Duke University Health System in Durham, North Carolina.
Why look at these institutions and why see several physicians? Two reasons.
Having said that, I fully understand that it may be difficult or impossible for every patient to get to one of these specialty centers, and there are many, many community oncologists who provide excellent care for men with prostate cancer based on their years of experience and their dedication to their patients, so let me tell you what would be important for me in any oncologist I was going to select.
So these are my four most important priorities, but other things need to be taken into account too:
Content on this page last reviewed and updated November 25, 2008.
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Questions To Ask About Having Therapy Using Medication
What type of treatment do you recommend?
What is the goal of this treatment?
How will this treatment be given?
How long will it take to give this treatment?
Will I receive this treatment at a hospital or clinic? Or will I take it at home?
What side effects can I expect during treatment?
Who should I contact about any side effects I experience? And how soon?
What are the possible long-term effects of having this treatment?
What can be done to relieve the side effects?
Innovative Research Leads To New Opportunities In Care
With innovations in prostate cancer research, our team continues to lead research efforts as national principle investigators. A cutting-edge clinical trial for prostate cancer at UH Seidman Cancer Center is available to determine the success of a reduction in the number of treatments for prostate cancer. Developed at University Hospitals, our team is using a shortened course of radiationâonly 5 treatments âto safely deliver fewer cancer treatments for effective outcomes.
In addition, for low or intermediate risk prostate cancer patients with localized cancer that want an alternative to active surveillance, we offer a clinical trial for eligible patients that will treat their prostate cancer with as little as three treatments.
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Nurse Counselors And Coordinators
A team of experts assists doctors on the care team. Those experts include oncology nurses, who will administer chemotherapy and other medicines, perform the tests used for monitoring the disease, and help patients cope with side effects. Case managers and patient coordinators are also part of the care team. These experts will help patients coordinate care across the team. They will also help patients make connections with experts, such as nutritionists, who can help with dietary concerns, or endocrinologists, who can help patients who are taking hormone therapy. Social workers with expertise in oncology may also help patients get help with personal challenges such as coping with the emotional burden of prostate cancer as well as helping patients navigate financial concerns, including questions about insurance coverage and family medical leave.
Why Choose Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
One of only 71 NCI-designated cancer centers in the United States. Sylvester is one of only two cancer centers in Florida that have been recognized by the National Cancer Institute. The team earned this distinction through its outstanding work conducting research in its laboratories, treating patients in its clinics and hospitals, and reaching out to medically underserved communities with innovative prevention strategies.
Advanced radiation oncology tools. Sylvester is one of only five medical centers in the country with ViewRay MRI-guided radiation therapy. Our RapidArc® radiotherapy system delivers intensity modulated external radiation therapy . These tools lead to more efficient and effective treatments, shorter treatment times, pinpoint accuracy in tumor targeting, and less damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
More cancer clinical trials than any other South Florida hospital. If appropriate for your cancer and stage, our clinical trials provide you with easy access to the very newest ways to treat and potentially cure your cancer.
The only designated Cancer Center of Excellence in South Florida. We treat cancer, and only cancer, giving you the best potential outcomes. The likelihood of surviving cancer after five years at a Dedicated Cancer Center is 17 percent higher than at other hospitals.
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Speak With A Patient Care Expert Now
Many patients find their way to Envita Medical Centers because they have a resistant form of cancer and theconventional options for treatment have been exhausted with little to no results. We offer a different approach tocancer treatment by combining the latest in research-based naturopathic and conventional treatment options from aroundthe world and not just the United States. Every level of the treatment Envita provides is more personalized and moretargeted in our clinical opinion than standard regimens. When you are a patient at Envita you are not a number, youare a person, and we take care of our patients, offering a compassionate top-level customer service and care. There ismuch more we would love to discuss with you about your prostate cancer including our proprietary methods for attackingresistant cancers. If you or a loved one is suffering from prostate cancer or any other form of cancer, please contactour Patient Care Coordinators at 866-830-4576. Our Patient Care Coordinators are experts in their fields and can helpset you on the path to recovery. May God bless you on your journey to healing.