One cancer, with three specialists, can mean multiple appointments in different locations and waiting anxiously in between.
Now, men diagnosed with prostate cancer can see a urologist, radiation oncologist and medical oncologist in one visit through an innovative partnership between Hartford HealthCare’s Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute and Cancer Institute.
Visits at the Multidisciplinary Prostate Cancer Program are coordinated by a nurse navigator and include interaction with the medical professionals involved in each prostate patient’s care.
Patients can choose an in-person consultation with the urology cancer specialist, who brings in radiation and medical oncology colleagues virtually or an all-virtual visit joined from the comfort of home. The latter is perfect for second-opinion consultations for those living far away.
“This concept evolved essentially out of two needs – an increased need for consultations with multiple subspecialists to optimally manage prostate cancer patients given various advances and new treatments, and an increased need, due to the pandemic, for comprehensive virtual visits,” said Dr. Ryan Dorin, a urologist with the program.
Visits last 30 minutes with each expert who discuss their portion of the treatment plan.
- The urologist discussing the cancer itself, lab results and surgical options.
- The medical oncologist describing the best treatment for the stage of the cancer, patient goals and general medical condition.
- The radiation oncologist reviewing and recommending treatment options.
“By developing a virtual platform for this clinic, we can provide a much broader patient population with access to the highly-specialized services of our Cancer Institute,” Dr. Dorin said.
The Multidisciplinary Prostate Cancer Program is the subject of a free webinar from 6:30 to 8 p.m., on Tuesday, Sept. 8, featuring three members of the clinical team – Dr. Dorin, radiation oncologist Dr. Neal Goldberg and medical oncologist Dr. Brian Byrne.
“Patients get to hear about their treatment plan from three physician specialists, so they should better understand their diagnosis and treatment,” Dr. Goldberg said. “It also forces the physicians to communicate with each other and arrive at a recommendation together.”
The interactive webinar – which participants can join from phones, computers or tablets – concludes with a question-and-answer session with the physicians.
For virtual appointments at the Multidisciplinary Prostate Cancer Program, patients need a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone that can access the software needed to connect by video. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Susanne Carrier, the nurse navigator, at 860.972.5768.
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