If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, the first thing you need to know is to relax. While the word cancer is emotionally charged and understandably causes distress, there is no need to make rushed decisions about prostate cancer surgery. For men, prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers as 1 in 6 men will have it diagnosed in their lifetime and of 34 men who are diagnosed only 1 will die. In fact, most men will live full lives and never know that they had microscopic evidences of the disease. Currently there are more than 1.8 million men who have survived prostate cancer according to the American Cancer Society. Facing cancer is never easy, but there are many reasons for hope.
What are the Treatment Options?
There are 5 treatment options available once a patient is diagnosed:
2. Radiation Therapy
3. Cryotherapy, or Freezing of the Cancerous Prostate
4. Hormone Therapy, Used in Conjunction with Radiation or Cryotherapy.
5. Prostatectomy, or the Removal of the Prostate
Surgery and radiation therapy are the most common choices of these options.
Surgery for Prostate Cancer
There are several things that factor in when choosing a course of treatment including age, the stage of the cancer, general health and how localized the cancer is and what chance there is of leaving cancerous cells behind. Many men are good candidates for a radical prostatectomy, a procedure used to remove the entire prostate and any nearby tissue thought to have cancer cells. If the chances of leaving cancerous cells behind are slim and when it’s possible, your doctor may suggest a surgical technique which spares the nerves.
Until recently, options in surgery were few and often included a large incision in the abdomen and significant recovery time. With new techniques, laparoscopic surgery can be done which only requires a few small incisions. Laparoscopic surgery may be performed either by hand, or through robot-assisted surgery. Robotically assisted surgery utilizes cutting-edge technologies and give the surgeon increased visibility and range of motion, among many other benefits. Robotic-assisted surgery also offers the patient many advantages that include:
• Faster Recovery Time
• Less Pain
• Less Risk of Infection
• Less Blood Loss
• Lower Occurrence of Incontinence and Impotence
You’ll need to keep in mind that surgery may not catch all of the cancer and other therapies such as radiation therapy may be required. The surgery may also cause side effects such as incontinence and erectile problems, which may or may not improve over time.
With so many treatment options available today, men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer are fortunate. Be sure to discuss theses options with your physician as you, along with your doctor, evaluate the best course of action.