(These FAQs are for men who have received an elevated PSA or have a definitive diagnosis of prostate cancer. As medical oncologists who specialize in the treatment of prostate cancer …
Who We Are
We simplify a not so simple disease.
We are Medical Oncologists.
> MARK SCHOLZ, MD | MEDICAL DIRECTOR
> RICHARD LAM, MD | RESEARCH DIRECTOR
> JEFFReY TURNER, MD | MEDICAL DOCTOR
Medical oncology is a sub-specialty of internal medicine. Medical oncologists are trained to diagnose and treat all types of cancer. However, as Prostate Oncology Specialists we have restricted our practice solely to treating prostate cancer. In the United States less than a hundred medical oncologists specialize exclusively in prostate cancer. Almost all are at academic centers engaging in research. To our knowledge, Prostate Oncology Specialists is the only free-standing clinic in the US that is devoted exclusively to treating prostate cancer.
As medical oncologists rather than surgeons, we do not have a preset agenda toward a specific treatment. All treatments, including active surveillance, hormone therapy, immunotherapy, surgery, radiation, brachytherapy, cryotherapy, focal therapy, proton therapy, nutritional and alternative therapies, HIFU and chemotherapy are given equal consideration depending on the unique needs of each individual patient.
In the prostate cancer world surgeons dominate the picture. Of the more than 10,000 doctors in the US who treat prostate cancer, 99.9% are urologists. Urologists control the prostate cancer world because they are first in line after an initial biopsy diagnoses cancer.
The stakes are way too high to simply rely on doctors so focused on surgery. In our clinic, all but the simplest cases are discussed by our group. Our patients commonly see more than one doctor, a practice that provides a helpful second or third opinion, giving a broader perspective of all the various options. This process is facilitated by technology that enables our doctors to quickly ascertain the essential aspects of each case. Our goal is to empower patients with unbiased information so they can choose the treatment that will be best for them. Our doctors supervise and manage over 2000 active patients.
Prostate Cancer Individualized
PROSTATE CANCER IS NOT ONE ILLNESS.
It’s a broad range of conditions ranging from a few microscopic cells found on a needle biopsy, to a life-threatening metastatic condition. These extremes illustrate the immensely wide spectrum that we call “prostate cancer.” Obviously it follows that treatment should be tailored to the particulars of each individual’s need.
With prostate cancer, treatment’s impact on quality-of-life is magnified. Prostate cancer’s low malignant potential means survival is far more prolonged compared to other cancers. Bad treatment decisions negatively affect sexual and urinary function for a lifetime.
Due to unfamiliarity with the prostate cancer world, patients struggle to understand their quality-of-life priorities, never before having been confronted with high-stakes decisions affecting their sexual and urinary function. And all of this is occurring under the looming pressure of a recent cancer diagnosis.
Good decisions result from getting fair and balanced information about the long-term ramifications of all the different treatment options.
Principles of Treatment.
> The goal is survival, with a good quality of life.
> Quality of life priorities are always personal.
> Personalized care comes through patient education.
We are neither surgeons nor radiation therapists. Therefore, all treatments are given equal consideration and recommended on their merits and relevance to each patient’s specific situation. The initial step toward selecting treatment always entails gathering all pertinent information about the stage of disease with blood tests, urine tests, scans, biopsy results and physical examination. It is impossible to select the best treatment when there is uncertainty about the stage of the disease.
Patients who are trying to decide treatment should always rely on the services of two separate doctors, one who guides the selection of treatment process and another who actually performs the treatment. The doctor guiding treatment selection should never be the one who does the treatment. He may be able to assist in determining which doctor will be best for performing the treatment. But it is a conflict of interest for him to suggest himself as the treating doctor.
We aim to treat patients the way we want to be treated. Our patients are empowered so they can make the best choices. We don’t have a preset treatment agenda. Our recommendations are personalized based on the individual characteristics of each man’s unique situation. Great care must be exercised in selecting treatment. The prostate is planted in the very center of a man’s sexuality and just under the urinary bladder. Improper treatment can cause devastating effects on quality of life.
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