Surgical Procedures for Prostate Cancer
Michael Jubinville, MPH
Surgery is a common way to treat prostate cancer. The type depends on the stage of cancer, your age, and life expectancy. The goal is to remove as much of or all of the cancer as can be done. Surgery for early stage prostate cancer offers the best chance for a cure.
Surgery for Early Stage Prostate Cancer
A radical prostatectomy is done to take out the prostate, seminal vesicles, and part of the vas deferens. The goal is to remove the cancer while it's still contained within the prostate gland.
There are 2 methods:
Prostatectomies can be done as:
These can cause:
Cryosurgery is the freezing of abnormal tissue in the prostate gland. Needles are passed into the prostate. The freezing gas kills prostate tissue. The needles are guided with an ultrasound.
It’s mainly used to treat cancer in early stages. But, it’s not always the first treatment used. For some, it may be done if cancer comes back after it’s been treated with methods.
Surgery for Advanced and Metastatic Prostate Cancer
Transurethral Resection of the Prostate
Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is done through a tube called a rectoscope. The scope is placed through the penis and into the tube that carries urine out of the body. Tools can be passed through the tube to remove prostate tissue. It can also be removed with an electric wire or laser, or by vaporization. It helps control urinary system problems caused by the growing cancer.
Taking out one or more testicles is called orchiectomy. They're taken out through a cut in the skin of the scrotum. This is done to remove the major source of androgens in the body. It doesn't offer a cure, but it helps slow the growth of the cancer. It may be used to control cancer that's spread. This can also be done with medications.
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What is cryotherapy? Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: https://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/prostate-cancer/treatment/cryotherapy. Accessed October 29, 2018.
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Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 10/29/2018
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