Worldwide nearly one million men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year. Screening, early detection and improved treatments have increased prostate cancer survival rates. When found while it is localized or still contained to the prostate gland, the 5 year survival approaches 100%. It is recommended by the American Urologic Association, if you are age 40 or older, to have a thorough urological examination each year which includes a DRE (digital rectal exam) and a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) screening, especially if you have a family history of prostate cancer.
Various treatment options are available for prostate cancer, each with its own risks and benefits. The options may vary with the grade of the tumor, the extent of the tumor spread, your overall health and life expectancy and your personal preferences.
Treatments for prostate cancer may include: hormone tablets or injections which help shrink or slow the tumor progression or radical prostatectomy-surgical removal of the entire prostate glans which offers patients a potential cure if the cancer is truly localized.
Other treatments options may include radiation (either external beam or seed implants) or cryotherapy. These treatments work by radiating, burning, or freezing the prostate. However, surgery is the only treatment that actually removes the cancerous prostate from the body and it is the most commonly preformed treatment with the intent to cure prostate cancer.
One treatment choice which we are currently using and is highly effective and minimally invasive is called the daVinci surgery system. It’s commonly called the robotic-assisted prostatectomy. The advantages of the daVinci is that it offers effective cancer control, plus a fasted return on continence and sexual function, less pain, shorter hospital stay and quicker recovery than traditional open surgery. The daVinci Surgical system allows for better vision for the surgeon and more precision through just a few tiny incisions rather than the more traditional 8-10 inch incisions which usually resulted in increased blood loss and a lengthy hospital stay.
Ultimately, the burden of which treatment to have falls on you, the patient. It is our job as a physician to ensure that you have all the information that allows you to make the decision which best suits you.