The crucial role of collaborating with medical experts to optimize prostate cancer treatment

By Dr. David Samadi

Prostate cancer presents a complex set of considerations, often requiring expertise beyond that of a single medical professional. Even if your primary healthcare provider doesn’t broach the subject, it’s crucial to recognize when additional support is necessary and advocate for it.

Working together with multiple medical experts matters

Determining the optimal treatment path isn’t always straightforward. For instance, you might receive a diagnosis of localized prostate cancer, but the biopsy results indicate high-risk features. In such cases, deciding between surgery alone, surgery combined with hormonal or radiation therapy, or external-beam radiation with or without hormonal treatment becomes challenging. Moreover, existing health conditions and practical constraints, such as transportation issues or prior abdominal surgeries causing complications for specific procedures, further complicate the decision-making process. Additionally, discoveries, like cancer confined to the prostate but detected elsewhere via imaging tests, introduce more treatment options, such as surgery or external-beam radiation, possibly supplemented by stereotactic “spot” radiation.

Given these complexities, seeking input from multiple specialists can be invaluable. Many healthcare facilities offer multidisciplinary clinics where patients can consult with urologists, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists simultaneously. This collaborative approach facilitates a comprehensive evaluation of each case, leading to the development of individualized treatment plans. These clinics often involve physicians, pathologists, nurse practitioners, social workers, and radiologists, ensuring a holistic perspective on patient care.

What if access to a multidisciplinary team is not available?

However, if such specialized clinics aren’t available or weren’t initially offered to you, seeking a second opinion is a prudent step. This can involve requesting a referral to a different specialist within your current healthcare system or opting for a private consultation with another expert. Second opinions are common practice and shouldn’t be perceived as questioning a physician’s expertise but as advocating for your health and well-being.

Guidelines when working together as a team

When there are several specialists involved in your care, clarifying who assumes the ” quarterback ” role is essential. This role typically falls to the physician leading the primary treatment modality, such as the radiation oncologist for radiation therapy. However, as the treatment journey evolves, the quarterback may change based on the specific needs and challenges encountered along the way, transitioning, for example, to a urologist if urinary symptoms arise post-radiation.

While the vast majority of patients may consult with the internet for health information, it’s crucial to exercise caution and not depend on online sources for medical advice. Misinformation abounds, underscoring the importance of consulting qualified healthcare professionals for accurate guidance.

Takeaway message

Ultimately, whether you stick with a single trusted physician or opt for multidisciplinary care, the priority is ensuring comprehensive, personalized treatment aligned with your unique needs and circumstances. Effective communication among all involved providers facilitates cohesive care delivery, even without a formal multidisciplinary clinic structure.


Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy.  Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911. 

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