Business

It's OK to talk about prostate cancer

POULSBO — Most men can carry on animated conversations about zone defense on the court or the West Coast offense on the gridiron. Ask them about their health, however, and the words don’t flow so easily.

A group of health care providers based in Poulsbo is trying to change that, especially when the topic is prostate cancer.

“What we found is that there is very little in the way of information and publicity about prostate cancer,” said R. Alex Hsi, M.D, radiation oncologist with Poulsbo’s Peninsula Cancer Center. “We know that one in six men in their lifetime will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.”

Hsi partnered with Berit Madsen, M.D., to open Peninsula Cancer Center last year. Both have served as head of radiation oncology at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle.

The center is pooling resources with The Doctors Clinic to treat men in Kitsap County who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. They are trying to raise awareness of prostate cancer and let men know the conversation is important.

Under the moniker Peninsula Prostate Institute, a team of oncologists, urologists and other health care professionals are filling the void in prostate cancer care in the west sound, cutting out the need for their patients to travel to Seattle for care, Hsi said. Health care providers involved in the institute will have weekly meetings during which they discuss their patients’ information and draw on each others’ areas of expertise to create a health care plan.

“This is a holistic approach to prostate cancer care,” said Randall Moeller, M.D., a urologist with The Doctors Clinic. “Closely coordinated care for our patients alleviates stress and shortens the window between diagnosis and beginning treatment by quickly gathering imaging tests and other data for the patient.”

The institute is bringing “new, cutting-edge treatment and research” to Kitsap County, Hsi said. Peninsula Cancer Center uses Calypso’s GPS for the Body for radiation therapy. Patients have transponders implanted near the prostate — as the prostate often shifts in the body — and those transponders are used to target the prostate during radiation therapy. This minimizes radiation damage in the surrounding tissue, Hsi said.

For more information on the Peninsula Prostate Institute, call (360) 697-8022 or go to www.peninsulaprostateinstitute.com.

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