Personalized care for prostate cancer
When you choose cancer centers and urology clinics at Ascension Saint Thomas Cancer Care in Nashville, Tennessee, you get a team of experienced cancer doctors working with you. Our care teams share best practices and the latest in male genital cancer treatment and research – bringing advanced cancer care to you. Every appointment with your oncologist or urology care team starts with a compassionate conversation. Your doctor answers your questions and gets to know you. So, you get a personalized cancer care plan. And with a plan, comes hope. We will help you navigate your care and will be by your side every step of the way, connecting the dots. Our goal is to help you get back to home, family, life and self sooner.
Men’s health with multidisciplinary cancer specialists
You’ll have a team of men’s health specialists dedicated to both your cancer care and care for the whole you – your physical and emotional health. Your doctor and care team at Ascension Saint Thomas provide advanced tests to diagnose and treat all types of prostate cancer and genital cancers. Our goal is to identify the tumor and deliver comprehensive care for your type of cancer, including:
Prostate cancer – There are at least five different types of prostate cancer, from slow-growing to aggressive, fast-growing cancer, including metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).
If you are diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer, your doctor may recommend observation and a routine blood test that measures prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. An elevated PSA level can mean prostate cancer tumor growth.
Testicular cancer – Types of testicular cancer include germ cell tumors, stromal cell tumors and lymphoma that starts in the testicles.
Penile cancer – Primary types of penile cancer are skin cancers (basal cells, squamous cell or melanoma) but may also include sarcomas in the blood vessels or connective tissue.
Your care may include minimally invasive procedures, urologic surgery and therapeutic treatment options from a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including urologists (surgeons), medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, cancer pathologists, and other cancer specialists.
Diagnosis and treatment for prostate and male genital cancers
Diagnosing prostate cancer or a male genital tumor starts with a comprehensive exam. Talk to your primary care doctor or a urologist about your symptoms.
Prostate tumors are usually found because of urinary discomfort and weak or interrupted urination flow that gets worse over time, especially at night. Other prostate symptoms may include:
- Blood in urine or semen
- Difficulty emptying bladder
- Pain or burning when urinating
- Pain in the back, hips or groin that doesn’t go away
- Painful ejaculation
Testicular cancer is associated with swollen, painful testicles. Penile cancer symptoms include a rash or sore that won’t heal. Talk to a doctor or find one near you if you think you are experiencing symptoms — do not delay care.
Male genital cancer care with enhanced recovery options
If surgery is recommended as part of your care plan, urologists at Ascension Saint Thomas use the latest surgical techniques, including nerve-sparing surgery (prostatectomy), to help improve your recovery. Your care team may also refer to enhanced recovery pathways as part of your urologic surgical care plan. They are an important part of our cancer treatment programs. Each recovery path is personalized for different types of cancer treatments to help speed up your recovery after surgery and return to daily life. Your care team uses these protocols to help you prepare for what to expect before, during and after surgery.
Across our sites of care, we provide high-tech radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and targeted treatment options for many types of prostate and male reproductive cancer, delivered by highly trained specialists, including:
- Anti-androgen therapy (hormone therapy)
- Brachytherapy (radioactive seeds planted in the prostate)
- Chemotherapy and immunotherapy
- High-resolution MR prostate exams
- MRI-guided biopsy
- Non-metastatic CRPC targeted medication therapies
- Pelvic floor therapy (for urinary incontinence)
- Robotic prostate surgery
Multidisciplinary care team for prostate cancer care
At Ascension Saint Thomas, you’ll be connected to urologists who specialize in prostate cancer care. Your doctor and care team work together with you on a care plan and will discuss treatment options with you. In addition to your urologist, your care team may include a medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, radiation therapist, oncology-certified nurses, dietitian, social worker, chaplain and supportive palliative care specialist. And your entire care team stays connected to discuss your treatment and progress. As your care needs change, we’re ready to support you.
Benefits of our approach to prostate cancer care
Cancer specialists who know you and your condition review your treatment and progress. They work together to customize your overall care plan to support your physical well-being and mental and emotional health. Ascension Saint Thomas Cancer Care provides comprehensive cancer care, including:
- Urologic oncology surgery – Surgeons specialize in endoscopic and robotic-assisted technology to make smaller, more precise incisions to remove tumors.
- Medical oncology – Medical oncologists work with your surgeon to deliver advanced care (chemotherapy and targeted immunotherapy) to help stop cancer spread.
- Radiation oncology – Advanced radiation therapy is used to target and destroy cancer cells while avoiding the surrounding healthy tissue.
- Clinical trials – If you want to learn more about other cancer care options, talk to your doctor. You may want to ask whether cancer clinical trials are the right option for you.
- Cancer Genetics – If you are high-risk or have a family history of cancer, we deliver genetic screening, testing and counseling to help you and your doctor better understand your risk for developing cancer.
- Support programs and resources – Your cancer care team provides support from nutrition education and counseling to cancer support groups and spiritual care. And, at Ascension Saint Thomas sites of care, our healing gardens and chapels are always open to patients and their loved ones. We provide supportive care and activities for the whole you.
Team approach helps navigate appointments and support services
Along the way, your care may require imaging, lab tests, pharmacy support, nutrition counseling or other specialists. You do not have to navigate your care alone. Your care team will help you schedule appointments, connect with other services and support groups, and answer your questions. From your first consultation through your ongoing care, you and your doctor will stay connected through in-person and virtual visits.
Screenings to help detect prostate cancer early
Getting regular PSA screening may help find cancer early, when it is most treatable. Early detection may allow for more options for treatment too. Talk with your doctor about screenings that are right for you based on your age, family history, smoking history and other risk factors. If you have been previously diagnosed with cancer or are in remission, screenings may be an ongoing part of your cancer care. Talk with your doctor about the right timing for ongoing screenings. We can help you find a doctor.
Get a second opinion on your cancer diagnosis or care plan
Get the confidence and peace of mind that your doctor and care plan are right for you. It's easy to get a second opinion at Ascension Saint Thomas sites of care. We can review your medical records and healthcare history to answer your questions and discuss options. Talk with one of our doctors about a personalized care plan.
When you are facing a new diagnosis or are deciding on a surgical or therapeutic treatment plan, there’s a lot to think about. Our cancer specialists can provide a second opinion, based on our experience and as part of an integrated national team of doctors.
Before your appointment, check with your insurance company to find out if a second opinion is covered. We can request your medical records on your behalf, so that they can be shared with your care team before your arrival.
Financial assistance and support is available
We can connect you with resources and programs that may be able to help you and your family with options for financial assistance. Our financial counseling team is here to listen to your concerns and work with you to help find options that meet your needs.