When to Refer a Patient With Prostate Cancer to a Medical Oncologist

The Earlier the Better
  • Jeanne Smoot
  • Nancy A. Dawson
Part of the Current Clinical Urology book series (CCU)


Historically, the medical oncologist has been involved in the care of prostate cancer patients at the end of their lives; however, with newer chemotherapy interventions, clinical trials, more options, and increased involvement of patients in their medical care, the role of the medical oncologist should be revisited. A survey of the practice of British urologists clearly demonstrates the problem. “In clinical practice, 82% of urologists have close links with oncology, available through joint clinics or on-site referral. However, <5% refer patients to an oncologist before the development of hormone refractory disease. At relapse, only 53% of urologists referred their patients to oncologists or palliative-care clinicians. A wide variety of hormonal treatments were offered at relapse; only 24% of urologists treated their patients by antiandrogen withdrawal or introduction, which is currently, the most effective second-line treatment for recurrent prostate cancer” (1). With involvement from the day of diagnosis, the medical oncologist can assist in the coordination of treatments and the appropriate application of interventions. The assumption of the authors of this chapter is that it is never too early to refer a patient to a medical oncologist.


Clin Oncol Radical Prostatectomy Zoledronic Acid Medical Oncologist Androgen Deprivation Therapy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeanne Smoot
  • Nancy A. Dawson

There are no affiliations available

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