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Moderator Raoul Concepcion, MD, and panelists Michael Williams, MD; Oliver Sartor, MD; Neal Shore, MD; Philippa Cheetham, MD; and Kenneth Kernen, MD, discuss the role of the urologist in establishing advanced prostate cancer clinics. Shore notes that therapies that prolong survival and improve quality of life are currently available, and these therapies can be administered in a cost-effective manner by urologists. By establishing clinics for patients with advanced prostate cancer, urologists can be true overarching caregivers of urologic care and work collaboratively with other health care providers, such as medical oncologists, primary care physicians, and radiation oncologists.
Cheetham remarks that the time is right for urologists to move beyond referring patients to medical oncologists. Urologists should work together with other clinicians to educate patients, as patients often return to their urologists with questions about treatment. Having the various providers who treat patients with advanced prostate cancer all in one location can help facilitate communication and collaboration.
In a larger practice, practitioners can subspecialize, comments Williams. Within his group practice, there are urologists who subspecialize in the management of benign prostatic hypertrophy or infertility, for example. A referral to a medical oncologist is not necessarily needed if a member of the practice has the knowledge and expertise to treat patients with advanced prostate cancer, remarks Williams. Patients benefit from receiving care from clinicians who focus on advanced prostate cancer and can spend time with these patients and address their unique needs, adds Kernen.