Prostate Cancer Patients Want Access to Female Doctors

Prostate Cancer Patients Want Access to Female Doctors

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(MALECARE) Only 80 of the 12,000 urologists in the U.S who treat men with prostate cancer are women. Malecare, the nation’s largest men’s cancer support network, held the world’s first prostate cancer patient conference in October 2019, featuring an all-female faculty.

The conference highlighted 12 of the country’s top prostate cancer clinicians, who spoke to more than 200 prostate cancer patients about strategies for living longer and healthier lives. 

The unique, day-long event was intended to disrupt sexism and improve prostate cancer patient care by removing gender bias from doctor referrals.

“Less than 1 percent of all urologists are women who treat prostate cancer,” said Darryl Mitteldorf, LCSW, Executive Director of Malecare. “Sexism in cancer care is a barrier for patients seeking optimal care.” He said Malecare started the conference to reduce this disparity.

“Female doctors tend to listen more attentively to their male patients, according to men in our support groups,” said Mitteldorf. “It’s possible that female doctors feel less competitive and more compassionate towards men suffering the side effects of prostate cancer treatment.” 

From the patient side, men are led to believe that only male doctors can understand what it’s like to have prostate cancer. However, women are more likely to empathize with the side effects of prostate cancer treatment, such as hormonal changes and challenges to their sexuality from surgery and radiation.

Several hundred men diagnosed with prostate cancer attended the conference, hearing 13, 25-minute presentations and four panels on topics such as novel treatments for advanced-stage prostate cancer, early-stage prostate cancer, life without testosterone, erectile dysfunction, and survival for spouses and partners. 

“Millions of men have prostate cancer, and all of them want to live longer and happier lives. All of these men suffer if their doctor choices are limited to just men,” said Mitteldorf. ISI

Malecare provides support groups and informational events where patients can learn the truth from patient-reported outcomes and evidence-based studies in easy to understand talks. Learn more about Malecare at www.malecare.org.

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