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How to Understand the Pros and Cons of Prostate Cancer Surgery

You have options when it comes to prostate cancer treatments, but be aware that each comes with its own complications. Understand the pros and cons before making your decision.


  • Step 1: Consider opting for minimally invasive surgery that involves an incision in the lower abdomen to remove the prostate, if your doctor recommends it. Recovery is often shorter with less blood loss in newer procedures.
  • FACT: The first all-robot prostatectomy surgery was performed at McGill University in the fall of 2010. Doctors controlled 2 robots remotely: one administered anesthesia and the other performed the surgery.
  • Step 2: If you choose radiation, know that surgery after radiation is much more difficult -- and often not even an option.
  • Step 3: Understand that radical surgery typically means less bleeding but carries a higher risk of rectal damage and often requires the removal of lymph nodes, meaning a second incision.
  • Step 4: Be reassured that the doctor's examination of the removed prostate tissue after surgery will determine whether additional treatment is necessary.
  • TIP: With delicate surgery like this, a great surgeon can affect the outcome. Look for someone who has experience to make an informed clinical judgment.
  • Step 5: Rely on a radical prostatectomy as the most effective treatment to remove cancer. Keep in mind that any operation carries risks, which increase as you age; however the has a relatively low risk of serious complications.

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