Prostate cancer originates within the prostate gland. Depending on its growth and spread, it may be diagnosed as localized, regional or advanced prostate cancer. At Urology Austin, our Urologists diagnose and treat men with all forms of the disease. To better serve our patients, we’ve established a committed group of champions who specifically care for men with advanced prostate cancer. We have also created a team of prostate cancer navigators.
What is prostate cancer navigation?
At Urology Austin, our navigation program divides patients into two groups: men with localized, regional or recurrent prostate cancer, and men with advanced prostate cancer. Localized cancer means that it is still located within the prostate gland. Regional means it has moved just outside the prostate and may affect nearby seminal vesicles, tissues, organs or lymph nodes. Recurrent disease indicates that the prostate cancer has returned after a primary treatment. Treatments may include surgery, radiation, cryotherapy or High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU). Men with localized, regional or recurrent cancer are served by a dedicated patient navigator. Our second patient navigator works with men whose cancer has metastasized, or who have non-metastatic cancer that is resistant to hormonal therapy.
Navigators play several roles when assisting prostate cancer patients. Their main role is to provide one-on-one, personalized guidance to patients as they move through their care pathway. They help connect patients to needed treatments, medications and financial assistance when necessary. Navigation is always based on the treatment plan outlined by the overseeing doctor. Prostate cancer navigators also serve as the central point of contact to facilitate communication between the patient and their care team. This team includes their physician, the physician’s nurse and his or her medical staff. In addition, an important part of their role is to educate patients about their condition, treatment options, medications, symptoms, expectations and next steps.
Oftentimes, patients are referred to navigators by practice providers. However, navigators also seek out patients who may have discontinued their treatment or failed to follow-up with their appointments or doctor recommended care plan. Once connecting with these patients, navigators are able to assist by answering questions that can help the patient make an informed decision about continuing with prostate cancer care.
At Urology Austin, we’re committed to the fight against prostate cancer. If you’re a man over 50, or have a family history of prostate cancer, contact the Urology Austin location nearest you to schedule your prostate cancer screening.