Prostate cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the prostate. The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder). The prostate gland produces fluid that makes up part of the semen.
Approximately 16 percent of American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer sometime in their life. Treatment options and prognosis depend on the stage of the cancer, the Gleason score, and the patient's age and general health.
With greater public awareness, early detection is on the rise and mortality rates are declining. Additionally, new advances in medical technology are enabling cancer patients to go on to live active and productive lives after their treatment. Consult with your doctor for advice on the options that are available to treat your specific condition.
Surgical treatment: radical prostatectomy
One of the most common treatments for prostate cancer involves the surgical removal of the prostate gland, known as radical prostatectomy. Traditional radical prostatectomy requires a large 8 - 10 inch incision. This open surgery commonly results in substantial blood loss, a lengthy and uncomfortable recovery and the risk of impotence and incontinence.
da Vinci Prostatectomy, a less invasive surgical procedure
If your doctor recommends surgery to treat your prostate cancer, you may be a candidate for a new less invasive surgical procedure called da Vinci Prostatectomy. This procedure incorporates the state-of-the-art da Vinci® surgical system that helps your surgeon see vital anatomical structures more clearly and to perform a more precise surgical procedure.
Brachytherapy, Radioactive Seed Impants
Some men choose to have radiation and chemotherapy to treat prostate cancer instead of surgery. Geisinger offers seed implantation, one of many treatment options available.
Prostate Cancer Treatment
Omar Yumen, MD, Geisinger's director of radiation oncology, describes options for prostate cancer treatment in addition to or following surgery.