NEW YORK -- Dr. Mitchell Benson -- a well-known Columbia University expert in prostate, bladder, and kidney cancer -- recently joined NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Group/Westchester, bringing his expertise closer to patients in Westchester and Fairfield counties. A faculty member of ColumbiaDoctors, he also sees patients at their Midtown location in New York City.
Dr. Benson has achieved prominence in the field for his research work identifying genetic profiles of risk which inform individualized treatment plans for his patients. His research has been and continues to be supported by the National Cancer Institute.
“Prostate cancer is marked by over-treatment of the 70- to 80- year-old patient and often under treatment of the 45- year-old because the disease does not get diagnosed in time,” said Dr. Benson, Herbert and Florence Irving Professor of Urology, Emeritus Chair, Department of Urology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center (NYP/CUMC), and Attending Urologist at NYP/Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville.
His clinical trials focus on treating men with prostate cancer, following a large database of patients over time. “We are further elucidating the genetic fingerprint of patients with the nonaggressive form of prostate cancer,” said Dr. Benson. Ultimately this research will help doctors to distinguish the nonaggressive form from the potentially lethal form of prostate cancer.
Dr. Benson noted that although prostate cancer gets more publicity because it is more common, bladder cancer is often a more lethal disease. “Treatment can be very quality-of-life altering because losing a bladder is more life-altering than losing a prostate gland,” he explained. “Much of my research is to use new medications to try to preserve the bladder. We have been successful in as many as half of people who fail first-line treatment.”
He cited cigarette smoking as one of the most common risk factors for bladder cancer. “Healthy living is healthy living and the genitourinary tract is no different from the heart or the rest of the body,” said Dr. Benson, who sees patients four days per week at his Westchester offices and one day per week at his office in midtown Manhattan.
In addition, Dr. Benson specializes in minimally invasive surgery for prostate, bladder, and kidney cancer including robotic surgery for the removal of kidney tumors. In general, Dr. Benson emphasizes that patients with suspected kidney, prostate or bladder cancer should go for a second opinion if they are being told that total removal is needed.
“If your prostate, bladder or kidney has to be removed, then go for a second opinion to be certain that is the only option. In many instances, it can be spared,” he said. “Sometimes patients get the surgery that the doctor is capable of doing, not necessarily the treatment that is best for the patient’s cancer, recovery, and outcome,” said Dr. Benson.
To make an appointment with Dr. Benson, please call: 914-722-6300