What to Expect at Your First Prostate Cancer Appointment
We’ll be here for you every step of the way
It’s normal to have questions or be concerned after receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer. But you won’t be alone on your journey.
Our team will meet with you to answer all your questions and explain what happens next. We do this for thousands of patients like you every year. Knowing what to expect can help calm your fears and give you a sense of control over your treatment.
What should I expect from my first appointment?
It’s important that you understand your diagnosis and treatment options. This information is crucial to the choices you will make for your care. During your clinic-based appointment, your prostate cancer team will talk you and your loved ones through the process and answer any questions you may have.
To feel comfortable and well-prepared for your first visit, we ask that you bring:
- Medical records and images related to your prostate cancer diagnosis on CD, DVD, or other media, if you are new patient to Henry Ford
- Directions for driving and parking
- Sweater and comfortable clothing
- Snacks and drinks (Places to eat are available on our campus.)
- Magazines or a book to read
- Cell phone, mobile device, or laptop (Free wireless service is available.)
Who’s on my prostate cancer care team?
We take a multidisciplinary approach to prostate cancer care. That means that you’ll have an entire team of experts – not just one doctor – that specialize in prostate cancer by your side every step of the way. Your prostate cancer team works together to create a custom treatment plan designed just for you.
Based on your treatment plan, your prostate cancer care team may include:
- Medical oncologists
- Radiation oncologists
- Men’s health experts
- Nurse navigators
- Cancer support experts, such as social workers, dietitians, psychologists and more
What are my treatment options?
Everyone’s prostate cancer diagnosis is different. Your prostate cancer team will create a treatment plan that’s unique to your diagnosis and health needs.
Your treatment options may include:
- Minimally invasive surgery, including robot-assisted prostatectomy and precision prostatectomy
- Radiation therapy, including MRI-guided radiation therapy
- Hormone therapy
You may also be able to participate in clinical trials as part of your treatment plan. Clinical trials are research studies for new drugs, technology, and clinical approaches to treat prostate cancer that are not widely available elsewhere.
How is my prostate cancer treatment plan created?
Deciding the best course of action for treating prostate cancer and managing your unique needs requires knowledge and experience.
Our experts will closely review and discuss your case at our weekly tumor board meeting to develop a treatment plan that is unique to your diagnosis and health needs. Our tumor board includes specialists from several medical fields:
- Medical oncology
- Radiation oncology
- Clinical trials
- Nurse navigators
- Fertility preservation
- Social workers and other supportive oncology specialists
After preparing your treatment plan, our nurse navigators will help arrange all your necessary appointments. Your prostate cancer nurse navigator is available anytime to answer your questions or help schedule appointments. Your nurse navigator is most often able to return your phone call within the same day.
What questions should I ask my prostate cancer doctors?
As you prepare for your first appointment, consider asking the following questions of your prostate cancer care team:
- What type of prostate cancer do I have?
- What stage is my cancer, and how does that affect my treatment options?
- Do I need more tests?
- How soon should I begin treatment?
- How should I prepare for treatment?
- How might my life change after treatment?