Good News for treatment of prostate cancer

According to The American Cancer Society, the United States will have nearly 218,000 new cases of prostate cancer in 2010. Just over 32,000 of those men diagnosed will die from the disease. However, greater public awareness is driving early detection rates up and that means mortality rates are declining. Along with that good news, advances in medical technology are enabling prostate cancer patients to return to active and productive lives after their treatment, in many cases, the next day.
One such advance is now being offered at the new Aurora Medical Center in Summit. Minimally invasive surgeries such as robotically assisted prostatectomies (complete removal of the prostate gland) are now being performed at Aurora's newest regional medical center.

The surgery is performed through a number of tiny incisions that still allow for an effective treatment but with the potential for:
Significantly less pain following the operation
Less risk of infection
Less anesthesia
A shorter hospital stay
Faster return to normal daily activities
Better clinical outcomes

Specifically, a robotic prostatectomy has many specific benefits* over open surgery and laparoscopic surgery such as:
Better cancer control margins
Fewer complications associated with the surgery (i.e. blood loss)
Shorter length of stay post surgery
Marked improvement of urinary function
Improved sexual function

*Of course, due to the patient and procedure-specific nature of surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed.
However, one of the biggest misconceptions about robotic surgery is that an actual human surgeon is replaced by a robot. On the contrary, your surgeon is controlling every aspect of the surgery with the assistance of a robotic platform.
The Aurora Medical Center in Summit will increasingly be utilizing robotic surgery for prostatectomies, but also gynecological procedures such as a hysterectomy, cardiac procedures (bypass, valve replacements) kidney blockage repair (pyeloplasty), and of course, other urological procedures.
It is important for men at average risk for prostate cancer to get screened starting at age 50. Men at higher risk should start getting screened at age 45. This includes African American men and men who have a father, brother, or son found to have prostate cancer at an early age (younger than age 65). Men at the highest risk (those with several family members -- father, brother, son -- who had prostate cancer at an early age) should begin screening at age 40.

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