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New cancer clinic open

Madigan Army Medical Center Multidisciplinary Prostate Cancer Clinic created to improve care

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Prostate cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States, and it is one of the leading causes of cancer death among men of all races.

In 2005 (the most recent year for which numbers are available) 185,895 men developed prostate cancer, and 28,905 men died from prostate cancer, according to data compiled by the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Cancer Institute.

To simplify and improve the quality of care that prostate cancer patients receive, Urology and Radiation Oncology Services have developed the Madigan Army Medical Center Multidisciplinary Prostate Cancer Clinic.

"A multidisciplinary clinic is a wonderful addition to Madigan or any major medical center," Maj. Dusten Macdonald, a doctor of radiation oncology at MAMC, said. "Walter Reed has a very well known multidisciplinary prostate clinic on the East Coast. We want to be the West Coast version of that."

A one-stop-shop, the clinic is opened on Wednesday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon.  During the morning case review a team comprised of a urologist (usually a urologic oncologist), radiation oncologist, urology resident, a case manager, and an oncology social worker, discuss and collaborate on the patient's health care needs.

With about 1200 patients currently in surveillance, and around 750 patients who require visits each year, the clinic is designed to reduce hospital visits and provide more efficient patient care, Maj. Timothy Brand, a urologic oncologist at MAMC, said.

"Being able to collaborate and get the entire team in one place helps make the care that our patients receive more efficient," Brand said. "This process helps the flow of treatment."

Genevieve Partain, a nurse case manager who runs the clinic, networked with Walter Reed and Brooke Army Medical Center - who both have similar clinics - for information and guidance before the clinic opened, she said.

Today her primary role is to improve the coordination of patient care.  With this in mind, Partain created a roster that includes the doctor's notes, lab results and patient issues all available at once, she said.  Each week she brings the roster to the meetings, she said.

The medical team finds it invaluable, Brand said.

"Before the clinic opened, one person would review the chart, and then it had to be sent to each of the other members of the team so they could review it," Brand said.

"This took a lot of time. Now we have all the information that we need, in one location, at the same time."

The patients have also noticed the improved quality of care, Partain said.

"We are already receiving a lot of positive feedback," Partain said. "I think the clinic is great!"

Patients seen in the clinic may choose to participate in a research program that is seeking to compile data to learn more about prostate disease and prostate cancer.  The data will be used to help develop more effective prevention, diagnostic and treatment strategies, Brand said. 

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