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Prostate and Urologic Cancers

cover for prostate brochure

The Prostate & Urologic Cancers Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital provides our patients with access to a multispecialty team that is dedicated to managing the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of your urologic cancer. Patients are cared for at Smilow Cancer Hospital, in collaboration with Yale Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, and our 12 regional Care Centers located across Connecticut.

Our patients also benefit from the expertise of a collaborative approach to cancer care, which personalizes treatment options for tumors affecting the prostate, bladder, kidney, testes, upper tract (ureter and renal pelvis), penis, and urethra. As part of your care, we engage experts who specialize in medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, pathology, and diagnostic imaging. Our physicians meet weekly in tumor board conferences to review cases and develop a comprehensive treatment plan that is unique to each patient, whether your case is complex and requires doctors from multiple specialties, or if you require a standard procedure.

Decisions are based on the most current research to ensure all patients receive the best available care. Patients also benefit from specialized resources, including access to caregivers who can help with the physical, emotional, and psychological issues related to these cancers. The extended team includes health educators, social workers, dieticians, complementary therapists, and more. Our goal is to ensure the highest standard of patient- and family-centered multidisciplinary care to support our patients and their families.

In addition to providing an expert approach to standard treatments, the Prostate & Urologic Cancers Program offers innovative therapies, including clinical trials for the treatment of advanced and metastatic urologic cancers and cutting-edge surgical techniques. 

Imaging and Interventional Radiology

Our radiologists specialize in the imaging of disorders of the abdomen, pelvis, and genitalia. They are leading experts in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and fl uoroscopy and are committed to delivering the highest quality diagnostic imaging in a patient-focused, evidence-based care environment to all our patients. Our radiologists utilize clinical expertise along with the latest advances in technology, including MR-US fusion for prostate imaging as well as positron emission tomography (PET) scans and advanced nuclear medicine scans. In addition, Blue Light™ Cystoscopy, an advanced endoscopic technology, is employed to improve bladder cancer detection and reduce risk of cancer recurrence. Our board-certifi ed doctors are national and international leaders in the diagnostic imaging of genitourinary cancers, and they are dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of care in patient safety, quality, and satisfaction.

Surgery

Our team is composed of surgeons with extensive clinical experience and fellowship training in urologic oncology. Each urologist is committed to achieving optimal cancer outcomes through advanced surgical techniques, and emphasizes organ preservation and safeguarding of sexual and urinary function whenever possible. 

The surgical approach is customized and carefully considered for each patient, whether endoscopic, robotic, or traditional open surgery. The urology team is committed to surgical innovation and off ers cutting-edge technology for cancer diagnosis, including the pioneering use of Artemis MRI-ultrasound fusion prostate biopsy. In addition, Blue Light™ Cystoscopy, an advanced endoscopic technology, is used to improve bladder cancer detection and reduce risk of cancer recurrence. 

Through use of advanced techniques, including minimally invasive and robotic surgery, such as nerve-sparing robotic prostatectomy with the da Vinci Xi robot, our urologists are able to optimize both cancer care and surgical recovery. Cryoablation (tumor freezing) may be a good option for some patients with prostate or kidney tumors. Focal therapy is also available for appropriate patients with prostate cancer, as it is able to treat the cancer without the use of radiation or surgery, preserving the prostate and urinary and sexual function. Similarly, for some patients with cancers of the ureter or upper urinary tract, a laser can be used to treat the tumor and preserve kidney function. 

For each of our patients, our urologists provide a high-quality experience and focus on safety and quality of care after surgery. Most patients are candidates for our Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocol, which reduces length of stay and complications while optimizing our patients’ complete recovery.

Medical Oncology

Chemotherapy is often recommended before surgical removal of a urologic tumor to prevent the disease from returning or to delay its return. Chemotherapy is also prescribed to treat patients with advanced or metastatic disease. Our medical oncology team provides experience and knowledge of innovative treatment options and investigational therapies. Yale Cancer Center is a major national research center for the development of novel therapies and provides our patients with access to the newest options available through clinical trials. Led by Dr. Daniel Petrylak, our team continues to search for combination therapies and targeted therapies to improve future outcomes. For some patients, there are treatment approaches that can help avoid the toxicities of conventional chemotherapy, and new immunotherapies are also becoming available for patients with recurring disease. Our goal is to help patients live the longest possible time with the best quality of life

Radiation Oncology

Radiation oncologists are an essential component of our multidisciplinary urology team and are vital contributors to the care of our patients. Our radiation oncologists are at the forefront of treating urologic cancers. They continually evaluate new radiation technologies and conduct research to ensure that our patients receive the most cutting-edge treatment available, including volumetric modulated arc therapy for prostate cancer, bladder-sparing treatment of muscle-invasive bladder cancer, and use of SpaceOAR, an injection that can protect other organs from the eff ects of radiation. Our radiation oncologists participate in our urologic oncology tumor boards, where each patient’s images are reviewed and discussed, and help to ensure the best treatment plan is made

Pathology

The genitourinary pathology team has extensive expertise in tissue-based diagnosis of diseases of the kidney, bladder, prostate, and testis. Our genitourinary pathologists are national and international leaders in diagnostic classification of genitourinary malignancies, as exemplified by editorship of the World Health Organization book of genitourinary tumors, which is the worldwide standard. Uniformity of diagnostic approaches and terminology is assured by close and regular interactions, including regular genitourinary pathology consensus conferences and diagnostic sessions at a dedicated multi-headed microscope, in addition to weekly tumor board conferences. In this highly specialized area, our pathology team utilizes state-of-the-art techniques and approaches to provide diagnostic and prognostic pathology reports that are critical for the care of patients.

Contact Us

For more information or to schedule an appointment with the Prostate & Urologic Cancers Program, please call