You know the look. You get it after you tell a patient “you have cancer.” The look takes on a myriad of forms such as fear, tears, disbelief and so on. It is in this state that patients are usually expected to listen to crucial information about their treatment options. As a result, physicians will often have patients returning with questions, seeking more information or simply looking for reassurance. For newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients and their partners there is a new program available in the Lower Mainland to help patients through the full continuum of their disease.
SSC’s Quality and Innovation Initiative provided $500,000 to help establish the program, which supports physicians by offering supportive care and resources that complement their medical treatments. In turn, this optimizes physicians’ time with their patients. SSC has recentlly approved additional funding to expand to other sites in BC.
The Prostate Cancer Supportive Care (PCSC) Program led from the Vancouver Prostate Centre is an evolving program that currently consists of five supportive components:
- An information session on treatment options: jointly presented by specialist-physicians in urology and radiation oncology
- Managing the impact of treatments on sexual function: group and one-on-one sessions with a sexual health clinician or physician
- Healthy lifestyle strategies
- Adapting to ADT therapy: information sessions on adapting to hormone therapy for patients and partners
- A pelvic floor physiotherapist-led clinic to help patients prepare for primary treatment and recover function post-treatment
Urologist Dr. Peter Black notes “one of the program’s big benefits is giving patients the opportunity to review in detail all the treatment options with experts in both radiation oncology and urology, as well as with prostate cancer survivors. This approach allows a patient to take in much more information. Also, the follow-up support helps patients and their partners better manage the impact of the disease and its treatments.” View a short video of one patient's story.
Radiation oncologists and urologists interested in learning more about these additional resources can contact the PCSC program office. If you have a newly diagnosed patient, recommend he call the PCSC office at 604-875-4111 ext. 62338 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. For the most up-to-date information about the program, visit the PCSC website.