Your health care team
Your GP will arrange the first tests to assess your symptoms. If these tests do not rule out cancer, you will usually be referred to a specialist, who will arrange further tests.
Prostate cancer is usually diagnosed by a urologist, who will talk to you about your surgical options. You will usually also see a radiation oncologist to discuss radiation therapy and you may be referred to a medical oncologist who will discuss drug treatments.
Your specialists will discuss treatment options with other health professionals at what is known as a multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting. During and after treatment, you will see a range of health professionals who specialise in different aspects of your care.
To find cancer specialists, multidisciplinary teams and hospitals in NSW or ACT, you can visit the NSW Government website CanRefer.
Health professionals you may see
|GP||assists you with treatment decisions and works in partnership with your specialists in providing ongoing care; may monitor PSA levels and administer treatment|
|urologist*||treats diseases of the male and female urinary systems and the male reproductive system, including prostate cancer; performs surgery|
|radiation oncologist*||treats cancer by prescribing and overseeing a course of radiation therapy|
|radiation therapist||plans and delivers radiation therapy|
|medical oncologist*||treats cancer with drug therapies such as chemotherapy and hormone therapy (systemic treatment)|
|endocrinologist*||diagnoses, treats and manages hormonal disorders, including osteoporosis|
|cancer care coordinator, prostate cancer specialist nurse||coordinates your care, liaise with other members of the MDT and support you and your family throughout treatment; care may also be coordinated by a clinical nurse consultant (CNC) or clinical nurse specialist (CNS)|
|nurse||administers drugs and provides care, information and support throughout management or treatment|
|continence nurse||assesses bladder and bowel control, and helps you find ways to manage any changes|
|radiologist*||analyses x-rays and scans; an interventional radiologist may also perform a biopsy guided by ultrasound or CT, and deliver some treatments|
|nuclear medicine specialist*||analyses bone scans and PET scans and delivers radionuclide therapies|
|pathologist*||examines cells and tissue samples to determine the type and extent of the cancer|
|continence physiotherapist||provides exercises to help strengthen pelvic floor muscles and improve bladder and bowel control|
|exercise physiologist, physiotherapist||prescribes exercise to help people with medical conditions improve their overall health, fitness, strength and energy levels|
|occupational therapist||assists in adapting your living and working environment to help you resume your usual activities after treatment|
|sex therapist, sexual health physician*||help you and your partner with sexuality issues before and after treatment; an erectile dysfunction specialist can give advice about erection problems|
|psychologist, counsellor, psychiatrist*||help you manage your emotional response to diagnosis and treatment; may also help with emotional issues affecting sexuality|
|social worker||links you to support services and helps you with emotional, practical and financial issues|
Podcast for people affected by cancer
A/Prof Ian Vela, Urologic Oncologist, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Queensland University of Technology, and Urocology, QLD; A/Prof Arun Azad, Medical Oncologist, Urological Cancers, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; A/Prof Nicholas Brook, Consultant Urological Surgeon, Royal Adelaide Hospital and A/Prof Surgery, The University of Adelaide, SA; Peter Greaves, Consumer; Graham Henry, Consumer; Clin Prof Nat Lenzo, Nuclear Physician and Specialist in Internal Medicine, Group Clinical Director, GenesisCare Theranostics, and Notre Dame University Australia, WA; Henry McGregor, Men’s Health Physiotherapist, Adelaide Men’s Health Physio, SA; Jessica Medd, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Department of Urology, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, NSW; Dr Tom Shakespeare, Director, Radiation Oncology, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and Lismore Public Hospitals, NSW; A/Prof David Smith, Senior Research Fellow, Daffodil Centre, Cancer Council NSW; Allison Turner, Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse (PCFA), Canberra Region Cancer Centre, Canberra Hospital, ACT; Maria Veale, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council QLD; Michael Walkden, Consumer; Prof Scott Williams, Radiation Oncology Lead, Urology Tumour Stream, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and Professor of Oncology, Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology, The University of Melbourne, VIC.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.