What should a prostate cancer patient expect at their first visit with the radiation oncologist?

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MarkSobczakMD (Physician - Oncology - Radiation (Verified) ) - 11 / 07 / 2013

The initial evaluation of a newly diagnosed prostate cancer patient can be broken down into three key components; evaluation, examination, and education.

1) Evaluation: The Radiation Oncologist will review the patient’s medical history with special attention to specific elements such as presenting PSA, pathology report (with emphasis on the Gleason score and disease prevalence), comorbid conditions, past medical & surgical history, and life expectancy.

2) Examination: The Radiation Oncologist will perform a physical examination that includes a digital rectal examination to evaluate the prostate gland size and presence or absence of palpable disease.

3) Education: This is a major element in the initial evaluation as most patients have several treatment and, in some cases, non-treatment options in their care. This is where the process of delivering daily radiation will be explained to the patient along with the possible and probable side effects of care.

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