Information about Prostate Cancer:
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that is part of the male reproductive system. Its function is to produce a fluid that is part of male ejaculate or semen. Prostate cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form inside the prostate. Worldwide, more than 900,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008, making it the second most common cancer in men behind lung cancer.
Wide spread screening, early detection and improved treatments have improved prostate cancer survival rates. When found while it is localized or still contained in the gland, 5 year survival approaches 100%.
When prostate cancer is detected early, radical prostatectomy-surgical removal of the prostate gland- offers patients a potential cure. In fact, according to the American Urological Association’s 2007 Guidelines for Clinical Management of Prostate Cancer, “The major potential benefit of (radical prostatectomy) is cancer cure in patients in whom the prostate cancer is truly localized”.
Treatment options for prostate cancer may include radiation (either external beam or seed implants) or cryotherapy. These treatment works by radiation, burning or freezing the prostate. However, surgery is the only treatment that actually removed the cancerous prostate from the body. All prostate cancer treatments can affect urinary continence, as well as sexual potency and function.
Radical prostatectomy is the most common treatment for prostate cancer. Until recently, prostatectomies were usually performed using an 8-10 inch incision. This approach commonly resulted in substantial blood loss and lengthy and uncomfortable recovery. The physicians at Springfield Urology now do prostatectomies with the da Vinci System. For most patients, da Vinci Surgery offers numerous potential benefits over open surgery including:
- Excellent cancer control
- Faster return of urinary continence
- Faster return of sexual function
- Shorter hospital stay
- Low level of pain
- Less blood loss and transfusions
- Lower risk of infection, complications
- Faster Recovery and return to normal activities
In addition, compared to radiation treatment, prostatectomy offers men with localized prostate cancer improved survival rates. As with any surgical procedure, these benefits cannot be guaranteed as surgery is both patient and procedure specific.
**Information provided by the da Vinci System Company. Please visit www.daVinciProstatectomy.com for more information.