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Changing Urologists?

Over the years my relationship with my Urologist was limited to about 15 minutes per year, when we would look at my low PSA score, do a quick rectal finger wave and schedule again for the following year.

That all changed when my PSA doubled a year ago and he said, “well that’s interesting”. I asked what that meant and he said he didn’t know but thought we should recheck it in 6 months. 6 months later the lab report said it doubled again, but I didn’t hear from him. When I called to ask he said “let’s check it again in 6 more months.” Basically it was a whole year of waiting without knowing anything or hearing from the doctor. Finally after a year and another elevation he decided to do a biopsy, but didn’t tell me the outcome until I called and asked.

My Urologist is a specialist who also sees normal urology patients when he’s not in surgery. I think his mind is on his surgery patients and not on the normal prostate patients.

I’m thinking about looking for another Urologist, one who is in a smaller practice and who might be easier to contact and interact with. I don’t know quite how to do it and stay in contact with my results. I don’t want to have to repeat all the tests and scans again, but would like to move ahead with treatment.

Any opinions?

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Comments

  • Erin Glace moderator
    7 months ago

    You can request that your medical records be sent to any practice that you choose so your new urologist will have a record of the rising PSA and any other tests performed. It is possible with Electronic Medical Records (EMR) that your new MD may have access already. I hope you find a physician that you feel comfortable with!

  • ninaw moderator
    7 months ago

    Thank you @erin-glace and @doug for your thoughts and experience! Some good articles below as well. @tomc, I hope you’ll let us know how things go for you, and if you manage to find another urologist to consult. Wishing you the best. – Nina, ProstateCancer.net Team

  • Doug Sparling moderator
    7 months ago

    @tomc@richardf has given you some excellent advice.

    I would definitely be looking for a new urologist if I were you, or at least seek a second option. Having your PSA double, even if the absolute numbers are in the normal range, is definitely more than “interesting.” A urologist should be knowledgeable with prostate cancer. You also should have been given a digital rectal exam (DRE).

    A new urologist should be able to get access to your medical records, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

    My urologist works at a cancer center and one of his specialties is oncology. That may not be available where your live, but I would definitely look for a urologist who is willing discuss your results. Waiting six months isn’t always bad, but your urologist should have really been able to answer your questions and provide answers

    “What Is the PSA Test?” (https://prostatecancer.net/diagnosis/psa-test/) and “No Time for Treatment Regrets” (https://prostatecancer.net/living/no-treatment-regrets/) might be helpful. I’d also take a look at Building Your Healthcare Team (https://prostatecancer.net/healthcare-team/) may be of help.

    Best of luck,
    Doug – ProstateCancer.net Team

  • Richard Faust moderator
    7 months ago

    Hi TomC. I understand why you would be concerned by a consistently increasing PSA. If you feel your doctor is not hearing/listening to your concerns, remember that you are always entitled to a second opinion. This article, while largely looking at after a diagnosis, focuses on getting a second opinion: https://prostatecancer.net/living/second-opinion/. In addition, this article looks at communicating with your medical team: https://prostatecancer.net/living/communicating-healthcare-team/. One of the major points made is to remember that your doctor works for you. I would also be remiss if I didn’t point out that your medical test results are yours and you can have then sent or get copies to take to any doctor of your choosing. Hopefully others will chime in with their experiences and thoughts. Wishing you the best and please feel free to keep us posted on how you are doing. Richard (ProstateCancer.net Team)

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