What to Expect
Your First Visit
Your first visit to the Urologic Oncology Clinic may take from three to six hours. You may be scheduled to see doctors from urologic surgery, medical oncology, or radiation oncology. You may also have tests and meet with nurses, a patient counselor or other support service providers.
It is important that we obtain your pertinent medical records including applicable radiology reports, lab reports, pathology slides, and medical summaries. We will schedule appointments and make arrangements to obtain these records before your visit.
Please bring the following to your clinic appointment:
- physician’s name, address and phone number.
- patient identification card if you have been seen before at UNC
- insurance card and any other related forms required by your insurance company
- any medications you are taking or a list of these medications and the dosages.
New patient appointments and tests are usually scheduled before noon, so physicians can discuss each case at the one o’clock treatment planning conference. Some patients will remain in the clinic and meet with their physician in the afternoon. Others may go home and speak with a doctor or nurse later in the day to discuss their treatment plan.
A primary physician is appointed at the treatment planning conference for each patient according to the diagnosis and treatment plan. Your physician will work with other team members to personally manage your care and will contact you after the conference to discuss the treatment plan developed by the team. Treatment options may include:
- Meeting with a genetic counselor
- The chance to participate in a clinical research trial
- Surgery: the date will be set, and you will be taught what to expect
- Chemotherapy: You will be taught what to expect and how to manage care at home
- Radiation treatment: The treatment, procedures and side effects will be explained. You may be scheduled for simulation, which uses x-ray images to precisely locate and mark the target treatment area. After simulation, a radiation therapist will give you the date and time for treatment to begin.
The nurse coordinator will follow you with the managing physician and ensure continuity in your care as you see multiple cancer specialists and receive different types of treatment. Letters will be sent to the patient’s local physician within 48 hours of the first visit to inform him/her of the patient’s treatment plan and status.
Diagnostic Procedures and Treatment Information
The Urologic Oncology Program offers the most up-to-date advances in diagnostic tools, surgical techniques, and medical and radiation therapies.
Diagnostic procedures available include:
- Ultrasound-guided needle biopsy of the prostate
- Prostacint Scan to diagnose metastatic prostate cancer
- Endoscopic diagnostics
- Specialized ultrasound and software for identifying testicular tumors
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Multidetector computerized tomography (CT) scanners, which allow near real time 3D display of tumors and surrounding anatomy.
Surgery procedures available include:
- Laparoscopic surgical procedures for some prostate or kidney cancers performed through tiny muscle-sparing incisions via video-assisted surgery.
- Nerve-sparing surgery to preserve potency is available to men with prostate cancer.
- Endoscopic surgical procedures
- Cystectomy with construction of urinary conduits and new bladders
- Nephrectomy (open incision)
- Orchiectomy with lymph node dissection for testicular cancer
- Interventional radiologists with significant experience in percutaneous and intraoperative ablation techniques cooperate with your urologist
- The latest radiation technologies for genitourinary cancers, including 3D conformal radiation, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), Cyberknife radiation, and brachytherapy.
- The most advanced radiation technologies to treat prostate cancer, including the use of the Calypso tracking system and Cyberknife radiation to target the prostate most accurately.
- The use of radiation and chemotherapy to treat bladder cancer as an alternative to cystectomy (bladder removal).
- Outpatient administration of chemotherapy
- Hormonal and immunotherapy treatment programs
- Access to experimental protocol chemotherapy for eligible patients
- Neoadjuvant (chemotherapy before surgery) treatment for selected cancers
- Optimizing palliation of symptoms in cooperation with other specialties