Michael S. Leapman, MD, who specializes in prostate, bladder, testicular and kidney cancers, loves his work as a urologic oncologist.
“Every day, I have the ability to make a difference in a patient's life,” says Dr. Leapman. “It's a tremendous honor and responsibility, and it's very rewarding.”
A member of Yale Cancer Center, he sees patients at Smilow Cancer Hospital and the West Haven Veteran’s Administration. An assistant professor of urology at Yale School of Medicine, he studies the best treatments for prostate cancer and how gene expression signatures can predict the aggressiveness of this cancer.
“Hearing the emotionally wrought words ‘it’s cancer’ is extremely difficult to navigate,” he says. “So that's one of the issues that we are sensitive to, and continue to strive to improve.”
The patient-physician bond is essential in helping patients with prostate cancer, for example, to choose which kind of treatment is best: surgery, radiation therapy or active surveillance, an ongoing monitoring of what can be a slow-progressing disease.
“It really is a very special relationship between a urologist and a patient. I have found that the team at Yale is 100 percent invested in the outcomes of our patients, and we stand out by seeking to understand their concerns, goals by being there for them every step of the way.”