Meet Prostate Cancer Surgeon James Eastham
James A. Eastham, MD, FACS
Chief, Urology Service; Peter T. Scardino Chair in Oncology
Prostate Cancer; Nerve-Sparing Techniques; Salvage Radical Prostatectomy; Robotic Prostatectomy
New Patient Appointments
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Dr. Eastham accepts the following list of insurance providers. Select your insurance provider to see more details.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with Aetna HMO, POS, and PPO plans. Aetna does not include us in any of the plans you can purchase through the insurance exchanges or through Medicare. Please ask your insurance if you need a one-time referral.
In New York State
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield (Wellpoint) of New York HMO, EPO, PPO, and POS plans, with the following exceptions:
- Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
- Memorial Sloan Kettering is not an in-network provider for Empire's Medicare Managed Care plan known as Mediblue).
- The Empire Indemnity Plan provides limited coverage for our services.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Blue Cross Blue Shield.
In New Jersey
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with some Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey plans for individuals, families, and small businesses. For example, the PPO plan is in-network with our Manhattan locations.
Horizon Blue Cross HMO is only in-network with our Basking Ridge, Bergen and Monmouth locations. It does not allow access to our Manhattan facilities.
Horizon Blue Cross PPO is in network with our Basking Ridge, Bergen, Monmouth and Manhattan locations.
OMNIA Plans: Tier I EPO based plan policy is only in-network with our Basking Ridge, Bergen and Monmouth locations and does not allow access to our Manhattan sites. Tier II EPO is only in-network with our Manhattan sites if it is a blue-card plan (there would be a suitcase logo indicating PPO on the front of the card).
Other plans may only be in-network at our Basking Ridge, Bergen or Monmouth locations.
Outside New York State and New Jersey
Some, but not all, Blue Cross Blue Shield plans outside of New York and New Jersey include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider. Contact your insurance to find out if your plan provides in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with CIGNA's HMO, POS, and PPO plans. CIGNA does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
- If you are a New York State resident: Please ask your insurance if you need a one-time referral.
- If you live outside of New York State: Please ask your insurance if you have in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with EmblemHealth’s PPO, EPO, POS, HMO plans and Medicare plans. Emblem Health does not include us in any of its Select Care network plans. EmblemHealth includes GHI, HIP, Vytra, and ConnecticCare (in NYS Only). You must bring a referral from your Emblem primary care doctor to your first appointment.
Formerly known as Health Plus Amerigroup, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Plus is an in-network provider with Memorial Sloan Kettering. You will need a one-time referral from your primary care doctor.
We understand that there may be many complexities involved with insurance coverage purchased through the health exchange network of the Affordable Care Act. We're here to help. If you have questions about how your care will be covered by an insurance provider, or need help navigating a change in coverage, please call us at 646-227-3378; if you are not a resident of New York, you can call us at 866-248-1274. Our team is here to listen to your concerns and assist you in any way we can. We want our care to be as accessible and affordable for as many people as possible.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with HealthSmart’s Accel, HSPC, and HPO networks.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Humana.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Interlink Health Services.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Lifetrac.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider for all MagnaCare health plans except those products you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
New York State Medicaid covers physician and hospital services at Memorial Sloan Kettering. Patients are responsible for co-payments.
We also have contractual relationships involving Medicaid Managed Care plans. MSK is an in-network provider with Medicaid NY Emblem Health (formerly known as HIP) and Medicaid NY Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HealthPlus (formerly known as Amerigroup). You will need a one-time referral from your primary care doctor.
In New York: Memorial Sloan Kettering’s New York locations are in-network with the Emblem
In New Jersey: Memorial Sloan Kettering’s New Jersey locations in Basking Ridge, Bergen and Monmouth are in-network with the Horizon Medicare Advantage Plan. This plan is not accepted for care provided at MSK’s New York locations.
If you are enrolled in any other Medicare Advantage plan, please contact your insurance carrier to determine your benefits and coverage at Memorial Sloan Kettering since your access may be limited.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with some Multiplan/Beech Street/PHCS plans. Contact your insurance carrier to find out if your plan provides in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Multiplan.
If you are covered by more than one insurance plan, you will want to determine your benefits from both plans. First, you need to determine which one is your primary insurance provider by contacting your employee benefits office or your insurance carriers. After you find out which is your primary insurance provider, you should then contact your insurance carrier to determine if you have access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with some MVP plans. Contact your insurance carrier to find out if your plan provides in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider for New York State employees who have enrolled in UnitedHealthcare's Cancer Resource Services. If you have the Empire Plan, you should call Cancer Resources Services at 866-936-6002 to verify and enroll in this coverage.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is in-network with Oscar's Circle Plus Network, a part of its Small Group Broad line that is offered only to select small business groups. Oscar does not include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider for any of its individual plans. Please confirm eligibility with your insurance carrier.
We have agreements with several insurance companies that may provide additional coverage for cancer patients. These benefit programs include:
- AXA Assistance USA
- Beech Street
- Integrated Health Plans
- National Health Administrators
- National Preferred Provider Network
- UnitedHealthcare's Cancer Resource Services
- United Resource Network
- Veterans Choice Program
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with Oxford’s Freedom and Liberty plans as well as the Metro Plan (which is only offered to small business groups and no longer offered as individual plans). Please confirm with your insurance if you need a one-time referral. Note: Oxford's Medicare Managed Care plan — Secure Horizon — does not include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider. Oxford does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with QualCare's PPO and HMO/POS network.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Specialty Care Management.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with UnitedHealthCare's HMO, POS, and PPO plans. Please confirm with your insurance if a one-time referral is needed.
UnitedHealthCare's Medicare Managed Care plan does not include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider.
United does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by UnitedHealthcare.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with the World Trade Center Health Program.
Contact and Location
Memorial Sloan Kettering has locations throughout New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Westchester. These locations offers many services, including screening, chemotherapy, and medical testing.
MD, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
Urology - Los Angeles County - University of Southern California Medical Center
Urologic Oncology - Baylor College of Medicine
I am a surgeon who specializes in nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy for the treatment of prostate cancer and salvage radical prostatectomy in patients with prostate cancer in whom radiation therapy has failed. I completed my fellowship in urologic oncology in 1995 and have been in practice since then, devoting the past 15 years exclusively to the care of men with prostate cancer.
I see about 300 men with prostate cancer each year. Many of them have low-risk disease and are candidates for active surveillance, meaning that no immediate treatment is necessary. In this approach, we monitor the tumor closely for signs that it might be growing or becoming more aggressive and hold off on treatment. For those men with more high-risk cancer that requires treatment, I primarily perform robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy.
At MSK, our treatment recommendations are based on personal risk. Not all men have the same risk — one size does not fit all. Many prostate cancers are of such low risk that treatment would only result in possible side effects, without improving patients’ life expectancy. Such cancers are best managed with active surveillance. Other men will benefit from either surgery or radiation therapy.
While most men are candidates for robotic surgery, some may still do better with traditional open surgery, a procedure I also perform. An area of special interest to me is men with high-risk prostate cancer who might not have been considered candidates for traditional open surgery. This includes men who have previously been treated with radiation therapy but whose cancer has returned.
My clinical research focuses on improving outcomes following surgery for prostate cancer. This includes controlling the cancer and restoring normal urinary and sexual function. Together with my colleagues in medical oncology and radiation oncology, we tailor therapy as accurately as possible to each individual’s cancer to control or cure it while minimizing treatment-related side effects.
We’re also starting to investigate the role of local treatment — surgery or radiation — in selected men with low-volume metastatic prostate cancer, meaning that their cancer has spread to a limited number of other sites in the body. Such men have traditionally been treated only with hormonal therapy. We are now investigating using a therapy in which men receive systemic treatment, such as chemotherapy, plus local treatment. The goal is to prolong survival and, ultimately, cure the cancer.
In addition, certain carefully selected men may be candidates for focal therapy, in which just the area of the prostate with the cancer is treated rather than the entire gland. This approach reduces the risk of treatment side effects while still eradicating the cancer.
During the course of my career I’ve given more than 180 invited presentations at meetings and symposia in the United States and around the world. I have also published 300 peer-reviewed studies in prestigious national and international journals.
As a doctor, my focus is on the whole person, not just his disease. I want my patients to be alive, but also to be able to live full and enjoyable lives.
As a doctor, my focus is on the whole person, not just his disease.
Awards and Honors
- Castle Connolly: New York Magazine Top Doctors (2010-2020)
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Alpha Omega Alpha
- National Kidney Foundation Research Fellowship Award
- American Cancer Society Clinical Fellowship Award
- Lamar Fleming Award-Gene Therapy in Prostate Cancer
- Patients’ Choice: Rated & Awarded by Patients
- Best Clinical Paper Published in European Urology in 2011: “Salvage Radical Prostatectomy for Radiation-Recurrent Prostate Cancer: A Multi-institutional Collaboration”
Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering work as teams, with specialists from all different areas. This allows us to consider all your needs together, and to give you the best possible care.
- Clinical Trials Co-Investigated by Dr. Eastham
- A Study of Multi-Modality Therapy for Very High-Risk Localized and Low-Volume Prostate Cancer
Memorial Sloan Kettering's doctors and scientists are constantly developing new treatments for cancer. MSK is typically running hundreds of clinical trials at a given time.
You may be able to participate in a clinical trial even if you are new to MSK. Search our online directory to find trial information and see more about who can participate.
Research and Publications
Books and Book Chapters
“Salvage radical prostatectomy for recurrence of prostate cancer after radiation therapy.” Eastham JA, Scardino PT. In: Comprehensive Textbook of Genitourinary Oncology. 3rd ed. Vogelzang NJ, Scardino PT, Shipley WU, DF Coffey, eds. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2006: 306-314.
“Nerve-sparing radical retropubic prostatectomy.” Eastham JA, Jarrard DF. In: Atlas of the Prostate. 3rd ed. Scardino PT, Slawin KM, eds. Philadelphia: Current Medicine; 2006: 145-161.
“Preservation of sexual function after treatment for prostate cancer.” Eastham JA. In: Prostate Cancer: Principles and Practice. Kirby RS, Partin AW, Feneley M, Parsons JK, eds. Abington, UK: Taylor & Francis; 2006: 675-682.
“Expectant management of prostate cancer.” Eastham JA, Scardino PT. In: Campbell’s Urology. 9th ed. Kavoussi LR, Novick AC, Partin AW, Wein AJ, eds. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 2007.
“Cancer of the prostate.” Zelefsky MJ, Eastham JA, Sartor AO. In: DeVita, Hellman, and Rosenberg’s: Cancer Principles & Practice of Oncology. DeVita VT Jr., Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA, eds. 9th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2011: 1220-1279.
Visit PubMed for a full listing of Dr. Eastham’s journal articles. Pubmed is an online index of research papers and other articles from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.