Should I see a prostate cancer specialist?

When choosing a doctor to help you through prostate cancer, it's important to consider whether you'll need to see a prostate cancer specialist.

Should I see a prostate cancer specialist?

If you have prostate cancer, you may have a choice of treatment options. You'll want to get the best treatment possible, but weighing your options can be difficult.

Deciding on the best type of doctor

One of the first things you'll discover is that not all doctors have the same training or specialties. Work with your family physician to decide which type of prostate cancer specialist you need to see.

  • If you have localized prostate cancer (cancer that is contained within your prostate gland), ask your physician to refer you to a urologist, a doctor who manages disorders of the prostate.
  • If you have metastatic cancer (cancer that has spread from your prostate to other parts of your body), ask for a referral to a medical oncologist, a doctor who manages cancer in general.

Factors to consider when choosing a doctor

If you feel your family physician isn't the right person to help you deal with prostate cancer or can't refer you to the right professional, you may have to find a doctor on your own.

  • When selecting a doctor to treat your prostate cancer, there are several factors to consider.


  • Ask about the doctor's medical training.
  • Look for a doctor who has completed postgraduate residency training through a program accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.


Enquire about the doctor's professional affiliations.

  • A urologist should be a member of the Canadian Urological Association (CUA) and/or Canadian Urological Oncology Group (CUOG), while a medical oncologist should be a member of the Canadian Association of Medical Oncologists.


Ask the doctor about his or her experience with treating prostate cancer.

  • Request patient and mortality statistics to determine whether the doctor has a successful track record.


Request patient testimonials from the doctor and use the Internet to search for endorsements.

  • Firsthand accounts of a good bedside manner are always reassuring, particularly when they come from multiple sources. Remember to use your own good judgment, too.


  • Determine whether the doctor listens to your concerns and answers your questions openly and honestly. It's important to find someone with whom you can comfortably discuss your problems and develop an acceptable care plan.
  • Find out if you can contact the doctor outside of normal business hours should you have concerns or problems.

The best possible care

Finding a doctor who meets your every need will not be easy, but it will be worth the effort. You'll improve your chance of receiving the best possible care when you choose an experienced and personable doctor.

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