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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