It's Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, and a new clinic in Lansing is at the forefront of the fight against that cancer and others that affect men. The multidisciplinary clinic is now open in the Cancer Center at Sparrow Hospital--- and it puts all the doctors a patient might need in one place.
It was news Charles Blockett Jr. didn't want to hear.
"In early January I was diagnosed with prostate cancer," explained Blockett.
Anxious about the diagnosis, Blockett and his wife tried to learn more about the disease.
"We read a lot of material... over a thousand pages of material...different pamphlets, booklets."
But he still felt uninformed. so he scheduled a visit at Sparrow's new GU Cancer Clinic, a place that specializes in cancers common in men. In just one day, Blockett saw a team of three specialists, plus a pathologist and a radiologist. Nurse Navigator Deb Batterbee guides patients through the process.
"Really that team talks from a multidisciplinary approach about all of the options presented to patients and what are the best recommendations," said Batterbee.
"Each one of them were able to give very good rational as to why this particular treatment was good for me," said Blockett.
Batterbee also set Blockett up for meetings with cancer survivors. It's information and specialized treatment that worked for Blockett, and it was all a stones throw from home.
"You don't have to go somewhere else. This is all right here in our own backyard."
Along with cancer diagnosis and treatment, the clinic also evaluates men with elevated PSA or prostate specific antigen levels, who are at a higher risk of prostate cancer. Some patients are referred to the clinic by their primary care doctor, but you don't need a referral. If you believe you're dealing with one of these issues you can schedule an appointment as a self-referral. Prostate cancer alone affects one in six men.