Prostate Cancer

A Multidisciplinary Team Approach

The urologic cancer specialists at the Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute treat more prostate cancer cases each year than any other center in Connecticut – as many as 600. They have fellowship training in the most effective treatments for prostate cancer patients and are dedicated to helping patients regain optimum urologic function.

Our urologic oncologists coordinate care from medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists and clinical research nurses. They provide comprehensive care for prostate cancer patients, from surgery and radiation treatments to pathology analysis and active surveillance of PSA levels.

Prostate cancer patients also benefit from biofeedback and other integrative therapies, educational seminars and patient support groups. We make sure patients and their families know what to expect during treatment and at home.


Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Most men don’t know they have prostate cancer until it is found during a medical exam. It doesn't cause symptoms in its early stages. When problems are noticed, they are most often related to urination. Patients may also have difficulty having an erection, may have blood in the urine or semen, and have deep and frequent pain in the lower back, belly, hip or pelvis.


Treatments for Prostate Cancer

Each patient’s treatment is tailored to the aggressiveness of their cancer. Non-aggressive prostate cancer can be monitored through active surveillance, with semiannual followups, MRIs and repeat biopsies. For more aggressive cases, treatments may include surgery, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy and chemotherapy.

Brachytherapy Treatment

Brachytherapy is an important breakthrough in treating prostate cancer. With brachytherapy, selectively controlled radiation doses are applied within the prostate. Radioactive seeds implanted in the prostate gland emit low-dose radiation to treat the tumor.

In some cases, prostate cancer patients are treated with temporary brachytherapy to spare the urethra from radiation damage. Highly radioactive seeds can be delivered to the tumor for as little as a fraction of a second using a catheter system controlled by advanced computer technologies.

New 3-D conformal radiation therapy or Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is another intensely accurate radiation treatment. It directs radiation precisely to the prostate cancer and minimizes radiation damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

Hormonal Therapy for Prostate Cancer

Hormonal therapy works by stopping the body from producing testosterone, which allows both normal prostate cells and prostate cancer cells to function. It’s different from chemotherapy, which destroys the cancer systemically.

Robotic Surgery for Prostate Cancer (Robotic Prostatectomies)

Our surgeons pioneered robotic prostate surgery, guiding their surgical instruments through small incisions using remarkably precise robotic arms. With a three-dimensional computerized view of even the smallest surgical field, surgeons use exacting precision to preserve sexual function and continence. Patients also benefit from less blood loss and faster recovery times.

Radical Prostatectomy and Post-Prostatectomy

After a radical prostatectomy, which removes the prostate gland and surrounding tissue, you might experience urinary incontinence. The Post-Prostatectomy Rehabilitation program at Hartford HealthCare’s Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute uses the latest diagnostic tools and therapeutic technologies for a prompt diagnosis and treatment plan.

Learn More


Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer

Most new prostate cancers are discovered in men over the age of 65. Being older than 50 is the main risk factor for prostate cancer. If you have a family history of prostate cancer, you are at greater risk of developing the disease. If your father or brother had prostate cancer, your risk is doubled. Men whose families carry the gene changes that cause breast cancer, BRCA1 or BRCA2, are also thought to be at increased risk for prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is more common among African American men, who also have a greater chance of getting the kind of prostate cancer that grows and spreads.

Men who live in countries where people eat more red meat and fats are more likely to be diagnosed with and die from prostate cancer, according to some studies. Eating more lycopene, found in tomatoes and beets, may reduce the risk.


How Prostate Cancer is Diagnosed

Prostate cancer is diagnosed with a thorough exam that includes family and medical history and a simple blood test for PSA (prostate specific antigen). If any irregularities are felt on the prostate gland and/or if your PSA blood levels are elevated, suspicious areas may require a needle biopsy. This is a painless procedure, guided by ultrasound, that does not require anesthesia. If tumor cells are found on biopsy, further diagnostic tests may include a bone scan, CT scan and MRI to find out if the cancer has spread and to evaluate bones, lymph nodes or tissues near the prostate gland.

The Tallwood Institute also uses specialized MRI-US fusion equipment for the most accurate biopsy of areas of the prostate suspicious for prostate cancer and identify disease progression. Fusing ultrasound and MRI technologies, MRI-US fusion provides a precise diagnosis and creates a 3-D image of the entire biopsy area. This means patients get a treatment plan created with a greater level of confidence than traditional biopsy techniques can provide.

With traditional biopsies, there is some uncertainty as to exactly what tissue is being extracted. In fact, 23 percent of men with a negative biopsy actually have prostate cancer.

MRI-US-Fusion Biopsy Guide

MRI-US fusion also means that patients on active surveillance, whose prostate cancer does not yet require treatment, can be monitored with greater accuracy.


Prostate Cancer Resources


Meet our Prostate Cancer Specialists:

Name Specialties Location
Crawley, David F., MD
860.443.0622
  • Urology
  • Waterford
DiStefano, Anthony Joseph, MD
860.643.2731
  • Urology
  • Urologic Oncology
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  • Manchester
Dorin, Ryan P., MD
860.223.0800
  • Urology
  • Plainville
  • Bristol
  • Meriden
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Fraser, Richard Arnold, MD
860.443.0622
  • Urology
  • Waterford
Friedman, Franklin Paul, MD
860.886.1956
  • Urologic Oncology
  • Urology
Show Less
  • Norwich
Graydon, R. James, MD
860.947.8500
  • Urology
  • Avon
  • Farmington
  • Hartford
Show Less
Kesler, Stuart S., MD
860.947.8500
  • Urology
  • Avon
  • Hartford
Show Less
Meraney, Anoop Mohan, MD
860.947.8500
  • Urology
  • Hartford
  • Glastonbury
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Morgenstern, Jeffrey H., MD
860.947.8500
  • Urology
  • Glastonbury
  • Farmington
  • Hartford
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Pyo, Paul, MD
203.238.1241
  • Urology
  • Meriden
  • Prospect
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Quinn, Anthony Dennis, MD, FACS
860.443.0622
  • Urology
  • Waterford
Shichman, Steven Jon, MD
860.947.8500
  • Urology
  • Hartford
  • Avon
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Stahl, Brandon Christopher, MD
860.886.1956
  • Urologic Oncology
  • Urology
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  • Norwich
Stein, Joshua Aaron, MD
860.826.4453
  • Urology
  • New Britain
Tarantino, Arthur Edgar, MD
860.947.8500
  • Urology
  • Glastonbury
  • Avon
  • Farmington
  • Hartford
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Wagner, Joseph Robert, MD
860.947.8500
  • Urology
  • Farmington
  • Hartford
Show Less
Wong, Jean F., MD
203.238.1241
  • Urology
  • Meriden
Yu, Stephen C., MD
860.223.0800
  • Urology
  • Bristol