Role of Nurses and Other Care Providers

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Moderator Raoul Concepcion, MD, notes that many allied healthcare providers are involved in caring for patients with prostate cancer. Philippa Cheetham, MD, remarks that in her practice, a nurse navigator is involved at every level of patient care, from attending academic meetings and journal clubs to communicating with patients about appointments. Neal Shore, MD, adds that in his practice, a nurse practitioner and a physician assistant are involved in patient care, and a designated nurse specializes in providing care to patients with prostate cancer.

In Kenneth Kernen, MD’s practice, a nurse runs the advanced prostate cancer clinic, functioning as a champion for the patient and a nurse navigator. The nurse also reviews clinical data to help identify patients who need follow-up scans or who may be good candidates for enrollment in clinical trials, for example. Michael Williams, MD, remarks that within his practice, the clinical research department performs a similar function in terms of data mining.

Concepcion notes that this movement toward advanced prostate cancer clinics involves a philosophical change, one that involves a commitment on the part of clinicians to manage patients with prostate cancer from diagnosis to death. This differs from the more traditional perspective of urologists functioning as surgeons who manage localized disease.

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