Skip to Main Content

Prostate Cancer

The Prostate and Urologic Cancers Program at Yale Cancer Center offers a multidisciplinary, comprehensive approach to treating urologic malignancies. We understand that a diagnosis of prostate cancer can profoundly impact your life and leave you and your loved ones with many questions about your journey ahead. You and your family can feel confident in the knowledge and world-renowned expertise with our urologic oncology team. Yale Urology and the Yale Cancer Center are home to many preeminent researchers in the area of prostate cancer, providing patients access to the most advanced drug and treatment therapies available in New England.

We are committed to offering our patients with early and late-stage prostate cancer the most advanced diagnostic technologies and treatment strategies available.

Innovative Treatments

Our team is committed to helping men with prostate cancer by prioritizing minimally-invasive procedures whenever possible.

New technology and expertise at Yale now makes it possible to visualize a prostate tumor within the gland, improving its detection, location, and staging. Smilow Cancer Hospital offers the only program in Connecticut that uses a novel technique to perform targeted biopsies of the prostate. The high-tech approach uses MRI combined with the Artemis device to locate and biopsy areas in the prostate. This technique has been shown to have a much higher cancer detection rate than standard biopsy. As a result, the accuracy in performing biopsies is greatly increased, which helps to improve the diagnosis and manage the progression of prostate cancer. The technique brings together expertise in urology, pathology, radiology, and engineering.

Because many prostate cancers advance slowly, not all patients need to undergo surgery to remove suspicious cells. Our Active Surveillance program uses advanced imaging and real-time ultrasound to monitor and biopsy suspicious lesions, removing the need for surgery for many patients who have a low-grade form of prostate cancer.

Yale Urology has performed more than 2,000 ultrasound fusion-guided biopsies for prostate cancer to help guide in treatment planning decisions.

Using the most advanced, minimally-invasive techniques such as robotic-assisted surgery, our surgeons can personalize their approach to treating prostate cancer. A robotic-assisted surgical system provides all the benefits of minimally invasive procedures while allowing surgeons to perform surgeries with higher precision. During robotic surgery, our highly trained and skilled surgeons control every aspect of the procedure at a sophisticated robotic platform. The surgeons’ hand movements are translated into precise, micro-movements of the robotic instruments. Minimally invasive and robotic-assisted surgeries performed by our surgeons include nerve-sparing prostatectomy and laparoscopic and robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy.

Focal therapy is another treatment option for localized prostate cancer, or cancer that is still confined within the prostate gland. This treatment falls between active surveillance and surgery and/or radiation, and because it decreases the damage to the prostate gland and surrounding areas, it can result in minimal side effects for the patient. However, it is important to note that it is not available for all patients.

Focal therapy uses ablation, which is the use of extreme temperatures or energy to destroy tumors. In focal ablation, the area of the prostate that contains the most serious cancer is targeted and destroyed, rather than treating the entire prostate gland. Yale Urology offers the TULSA (transurethral localized sonographic ablation) procedure as an option for men with localized prostate cancer. Performed under anesthesia, TULSA is minimally-invasive and provides additional benefits including protection to tissues surrounding the prostate. There are a variety of ablation options available and the type you receive will be determined by your specific diagnosis with the guidance of your urologic oncologist.

For patients who require radiation therapy for their prostate cancer, we offer SpaceOAR, an injectible hydrogel which can minimize side effects of this treatment. In this procedure, the hydrogel is injected to create space between your prostate and the rectum to reduce injury to the rectum during radiation. Over time, the hydrogel will be absorbed into the body and removed through urine. We are also the only facility in Connecticut that offers SpaceOAR on an outpatient basis.

Our team is at the forefront of research for prostate cancer in areas such as diagnostic imaging, active surveillance, and high-risk prostate cancer. Our surgeons continually integrate the latest in science-based medicine and innovative approaches into their practice to offer patients safer and more effective treatments.

About Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer among men in the United States. Located just below the bladder, the prostate is a gland responsible for producing and storing fluid that helps make semen, and it is also involved in regulating bladder control.

Prostate cancer tends to be slow growing and in many cases, may go undetected. Some forms of prostate cancer, however, can be more aggressive and spread quickly. Early detection plays a critical role in increased five-year survival rates.

The most common cell type of prostate cancer is adenocarcinoma, and is the second most common cancer among men over 65. Other cell types of prostate cancer include small cell, squamous cell, and other rare cell types, all of which generally require more aggressive cancer treatment than adenocarcinomas.

Click here to learn about clinical trials currently going on at Yale.

Prostate Cancer Awareness with Dr. Michael Leapman