Prostate Cancer Treatment NYC | Weill Cornell Medicine Genitourinary Oncology Program

I was very surprised to get the news. Oh,
boy. I’ve got Stage IV prostate cancer. But the question wasn’t ‘What is it that I have?’
The question was ‘What am I going to do about it?’ At Weill Cornell we have a very
strong program in genitourinary cancers. That includes prostate cancer, bladder cancer,
kidney cancer, and testicular cancer. We also have really across the board top line medical
specialties that’s all here within one roof. It’s very important to be connected to a hospital,
such as New York Presbyterian. We have a great faculty that’s at our disposal. It’s a multidisciplinary
team. Not only the medical oncologists, but we also work very closely with our radiation
oncology colleagues, our urology surgeons, from pathologists to radiologists. So whenever
we see a new patient, we present the patient at a tumor board. And at that tumor board
there’s the whole gamut of physicians involved in care. What makes us unique is our dedication
to research. And when I say research, not only laboratory research within the cancer
center, but clinical research. We have our own clinical trials. I think the benefits
from participating in clinical trials from the patient point of view is multi-factorial.
Sometimes there’s access to a drug that otherwise would not be available. Some of these are
very promising, and we know today that there have been improvements in almost every cancer
that there is through clinical trials. Some patients have the misconception that clinical
trials are for the very end. That’s not true. Clinical trials are for every stage or state
of your cancer. One of the great things that we have at Weill Cornell is our Institute
for Precision Medicine. As a team we’ve really been highly focused on precision medicine,
and this is really an approach to try to identify which patients might respond the most effectively
to the available therapies that we have. We do this by looking often times at the molecular
alterations in their cancers. Coming up with treatments that are targeting that defect
and be able to treat patients with more personalized treatments rather than treating everyone the
same. I’m not a number. I’m a person. And because of precision medicine, I’m here today.
It is a wonderful, wonderful thing, and I’m very, very fortunate. In all the diseases
and GU cancers, there’s been remarkable advancement, and patients that would have died are alive
and living for years. Our mission is really putting patients first. I think that everything
we do in the clinic as well as in our research is driven really by the patient. From the
beginning when you go to the check-in desk, you are like in a big family. You know that
you are in good hands and you are like at home, like a second home. We are very respectful
and very caring towards our patients from the day that they step foot in this hospital.
To care for a patient to the best of your ability, you truly need to encompass the patient
entirely, from their family members to their caregivers, their beliefs. You know, you’re
treating a human. If it wasn’t for the GU Center, if it wasn’t for Dr. Nanus, I would
not have been able to go to three college graduations, two of my granddaughters’ weddings,
and the birth of two beautiful great-grandchildren. So all I can say is ‘thank you.’