As a man, your risk of prostate cancer increases as you get older. There are thousands of new diagnoses each year, and not everyone who receives a diagnosis will require surgery. Many patients find that they can benefit from watchful waiting instead, which means they attend regular appointments to re-evaluate their risk of the cancer spreading. For some men, surgery is necessary to reduce the risk of cancer spreading elsewhere. If you've received a prostate cancer diagnosis, it may help to learn more about the different types of surgery available.
A radical prostatectomy is a form of surgery that involves removing the prostate and the seminal vesicles attached to it. It's an option when you're suffering from localised prostate cancer and your surgeon wants to reduce the risk of it spreading. After your surgery is complete, a pathologist will assess the prostate to grade and stage your cancer. You may find that your surgeon recommends this option alongside other treatment methods. For example, radiotherapy kills off problematic cancer cells. You'll likely need to attend regular appointments to measure your prostate-specific antigen level so your surgeon can remain confident that it's stable.
Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP)
Unlike a radical prostatectomy, a TURP procedure involves removing part of the prostate. The aim of this type of surgery is to eliminate the portion of the prostate that is causing problems. As your prostate enlarges, it may place pressure on areas such as your urethra. This can make it difficult to urinate and may cause issues such as a urinary tract infection or urinary retention. Following this type of surgery, you'll still require monitoring for your cancer. However, you should experience relief from the symptoms that diminish your quality of life.
Also known as pelvic node resection, this type of surgery involves removing lymph nodes that feature cancerous cells. It's also a useful surgery when your medical team wants to reduce the risk of your cancer spreading elsewhere. As lymph nodes act as a gateway for cancerous cells to reach other areas of your body, it's an effective way to reduce your overall risk. Using this surgery, your medical team should be able to evaluate the staging of your cancer. Your surgeon may also perform this procedure ahead of radiation to ensure that it's effective.
When presented with your surgical choice, make sure you discuss the benefits and limitations of each one thoroughly with your surgical team.
For more information on prostate cancer surgery, contact a professional near you.