Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer among men. It typically affects men over the age of 50, with your chances increasing every year after that. Thankfully, it’s highly treatable as long as its detected in time. All men should start having their prostate checked by age 50.
Those with a history of prostate cancer in their family should start at age 45.
If cancer is found, there are a number of treatment options available depending on your age, general health, and whether or not the cancer has spread beyond the prostate. Prostate cancer is slow spreading, and your doctor may even advise you to wait for further treatment while they track its progress.
Some men diagnosed with cancer ultimately live out the rest of their lives before it begins to affect them. Most will eventually begin treatment. Common treatments of prostate cancer include radiation, surgery, cryotherapy, hormone therapy, or chemotherapy.
Because the prostate is small and non-vital, it is possible to remove part or all of it if the cancer hasn’t spread beyond it. This is known as a prostatectomy. There are two primary types of prostatectomies:
A simple prostatectomy is where part of the prostate is removed
A radical prostatectomy is the removal of the entire prostate gland, along with the seminal vesicles and vas deferens.
Within these types of prostatectomies, there are multiple ways the operation can be performed. Open surgery is common, though it requires a large incision across the lower abdomen that results in visible scaring, increased discomfort, and longer recovery time.
Those looking for more discreet surgical options may consider a robotic (laparoscopic) prostatectomy or a radical perineal prostatectomy.
With robotic prostatectomy, the surgeon operates a da Vinci® Surgical System which allows them to perform high-precision actions that are impossible for human hands. This results in a surgery that is less invasive and more accurate.
For a robotic prostatectomy, minor incisions are made in the abdomen, allowing small robotic instruments to enter the body and remove the prostate and surrounding tissue. This procedure utilizes 3D imaging to create an external view of the area that the doctor uses to navigate the machine, allowing for extreme precision.
Ultimately, robotic prostatectomy allows for an operation with minimal discomfort and a fast recovery time.
Is a Prostatectomy Right for Me?
Typically, prostatectomies are best suited for men younger than 75 with limited prostate cancer. Of course, the first step is to confirm that you have prostate cancer and how far along it is.
Cancer isn’t the only condition that can affect the prostate. BPH and prostatitis are non-cancerous conditions that share many similar symptoms to prostate cancer. That’s why it’s critical to see a urologist when experiencing any symptoms of prostate cancer.
If you have cancer, your doctor will determine if it’s spread beyond the prostate. If it has not, then a prostatectomy is an option. Still, your urologist may offer other options. For a urology doctor in the Dayton/Springfield, Ohio area, Urology Specialists of Ohio is here for you.