New UW Health Lecture Series on Prostate Cancer Survivorship
Treating prostate cancer is one thing. Managing what comes next, however, is something else entirely.
Life after prostate cancer treatment often brings its own set of unique challenges. To help with that, Urology at UW Health, in conjunction with the UW Carbone Cancer Center, is launching a monthly lecture series (third Thursday of each month) for prostate cancer patients and survivors, as well as their families. The first lecture takes place at 4:30 pm on Thursday, January 16, 2020 at UW Health clinic, 1 S. Park Street, room C4116 (4th floor) in Madison. For more details, e-mail Tia Powell Powell@urology.wisc.edu or call (608) 262-5440.
“We’ll talk about the potential survivorship issues that you may encounter and the different options that you can consider addressing as you progress through your treatment,” said Brian Le, MD, assistant professor of urology at UW-Madison. Le is organizing and heading up the series, and will be setting the agenda for the lecture series.
If caught early, prostate cancer is treatable by surgery or radiation. However, when a surgeon removes the prostate, or a radiation oncologist treats the cancer with radiation, it can leave men with some uncomfortable quality-of-life issues that they may not have expected, such as erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence.
While oncologists and surgeons can and do discuss these issues with their patients in the clinic, Le says having a dedicated lecture series allows these survivorship issues to be front and center. Since getting a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, and patients must digest a lot of new information in a short amount of time, it doesn’t always leave time in the clinic for patients to ask, or even think about, the possible impact of treatment down the road. “They don’t necessarily know to ask about other things that may be relevant, such as sexual health and energy levels and voiding dysfunction and those kinds of things,” Le said.
The bottom line is that these issues do not have to define your life, and there are resources out there to help you manage them.
New prostate cancer patients will receive information about the seminars during conversations with their treatment team. Ideally, a patient would be able to attend a lecture prior to starting treatment, to have a better understanding of post-treatment options and resources. However, survivors are also welcome and encouraged to attend at any stage of their cancer journey. “It’s supposed to be an informational session, but we’re hoping to also integrate patient stories in there,” Le said.
Patients and survivors can come to one lecture, or multiple. The talks will be held monthly, and while the information presented at each will be similar, different groups of people will mean different groups of questions.
A new website is also launching alongside the lecture series, featuring more information about survivorship resources and dates for upcoming talks.
The lecture series and website are part of a broader goal to create a prostate cancer survivorship program at UW Carbone. Similar programs already exist for other cancers, such as breast cancer, and exist to help meet the needs of the growing number of cancer survivors in Wisconsin.
Ultimately, Le says it’s a holistic approach that looks to manage the whole patient, not just the cancer itself. “A patient’s cancer journey doesn’t necessarily end after treatment,” he said. “We want to be able to help them with whatever comes next.”
Date Published: 12/23/2019