Walter Richard Ristow was 71 years old when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Center for Genitourinary Cancers
If you have not previously seen a doctor within the Mass General/Partners Healthcare Network:
Step 1: Obtain a medical record number (MRN).
Call the Mass General Registration & Referral Center to register as a patient and obtain an MRN: 866-211-6588.
Step 2: Call the Cancer Center new patient appointment line: 617-726-5130.
The schedulers can assist you in making the first available appointment with the appropriate physician. To help your call go smoothly, please have ready your:
- Full name and date of birth
- Medical record number
- Medical diagnosis
Call the Genitourinary Center scheduling line: 617-724-5197. They will connect you with your treatment team.
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Explore the Prostate Cancer Treatment Program
The Claire & John Bertucci Center for Genitourinary Cancers is one of the largest and most experienced centers in New England for the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. Many of the diagnostic and therapeutic approaches available here are offered at only a few centers nationwide.
Our unique approaches to prostate cancer treatment include:
- Advanced diagnostic techniques to determine candidates for active surveillance and patients needing aggressive treatment
- The latest surgical and radiation techniques
Multidisciplinary Patient Care
New patients are generally seen within a week of referral. We will work with you to develop a treatment plan that balances potential treatment side effects and benefits. We will continue to monitor your care and communicate regularly with you and your referring physician about your progress.
At your first appointment, you will meet the genitourinary cancer specialists who will be involved in your care, including:
- Urologists and surgical oncologists experienced in the latest testicular cancer surgery approaches
- Radiation oncologists who specialize in delivering the optimal therapeutic dose while protecting healthy tissue
- Medical oncologists to discuss overall prognosis and review the available treatment approaches
In addition, you may also see:
- Pathologists specializing in urologic cancers
- Radiologists specializing in genitourinary cancer imaging
- Oncology nurses and nurse practitioners who specialize in cancer care
- Oncology psychiatrists and social workers experienced in helping with the cognitive side effects of cancer and treatment, as well the emotional and spiritual side of the cancer experience
- A nutritionist to help you with questions about diet and nutrition during treatment
Expertise in Diagnosing and Staging Cancers
Exact diagnosis and staging are critical to defining the appropriate treatment for your cancer, including establishing whether you are a candidate for active surveillance. Your team will include sub-specialized pathologists, who work exclusively on analyzing genitourinary tumors, and whose training and experience help ensure your treatment plan is based on a precise diagnosis. Our pathologists perform a Gleason score analysis of every prostate tumor to assess the likelihood of tumor spread.
In addition to using the standard imaging techniques, we are conducting clinical trials on the use of novel techniques to diagnose and stage prostate cancer.
- New MRI techniques, including diffusion-weighted MRI, which more accurately detect cancer cells
- Novel PET-scan imaging for early and more accurate diagnosis of bone metastases in patients with primary prostate cancer
- Nanoparticle-enhanced MRI, an imaging technology developed here that can find cancerous lymph nodes missed by biopsies.
Excellence in Surgical Care
Studies have shown patients do better when they are treated in a facility that cares for a high number of patients with the same form of cancer; we perform a large number of prostate cancer diagnostic and treatment procedures annually.
In addition to being skilled at conventional surgery, our genitourinary cancer surgeons are at the forefront of developing minimally invasive approaches for the treatment of prostate cancer, including both laparoscopic and robotic prostatectomy.
Pioneering Radiation Therapies
Depending on the size of your prostate and the location of your cancer, you may receive internal radiation (brachytherapy) or external radiation. External radiation is delivered using advanced 3-dimensional (3-D) or intensity modulated (IMRT) radiation techniques. The prostate is targeted using daily imaging to precisely direct the radiation beam. As one of only a few centers nationwide offering proton beam radiation, we are working to understand its correct place in the treatment of prostate cancer.
Clinical trials are research studies of new drugs, new combinations of drugs or already approved drugs being studied to treat patients in new/different ways. They may include new drug doses or new ways (schedules) to give the drugs. Clinical trials are run under strict guidelines. Their purpose is to help find out whether new cancer treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard (current) treatment. At Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, there are several clinical trials open for the treatment of prostate cancer that use the latest in cancer treatments.
Cancer is increasingly becoming a disease in which the genetic makeup of each individual cancer drives therapy. The Center for Genitourinary Cancers also has access to clinical trials involving these targeted therapy approaches.
Meet the Team
Meet our multidisciplinary team of genitourinary cancer specialists.
Patient Education and Resources
The prostate is a small, round gland located behind the pubic bone and in front of the rectum. Cancer that begins in the tissues of the prostate is called prostate cancer.
We help to identify families that may have a hereditary predisposition to prostate cancer.
A checklist of items to bring with you for your first visit and helpful information.