Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Prostate Cancer: Radical Prostectomy

WARNING: The views and/or opinions about Prostate Cancer and treatments are mine and mine alone. I am not a doctor or health care professional. I am just one man recording his experience with Prostate Cancer in the hopes it may help some one facing the same decision I faced.

As I said in the previous post. The Prostate Biopsy showed cancer in three of the four sections of my prostate (Gleason Score 7). I was now faced with a decision, which of the three common treatments for Prostate Cancer do I want to under go?

The three treatments are:

 1. Radical Prostectomy: complete removal of the prostate.

 2. Radiation: Usually eight weeks, five days a week of radiation of pelvic area and/or hormone treatment. A subset of this is radioactive seeds.

3. Active Surveillance.

In this article we'll look at the first option, Radical Prostectomy. At first this seemed the most invasive. During the operation the surgeon removes the complete prostate and hopefully all the cancer. Of course this surgery works only if the cancer is contained within the prostate. If after removal of the prostate there is evidence that the cancer has spread then radiation and/or chemo are your next options.

The operation is done my robotics. The surgeon manipulates tiny flexible instruments that are move flexible than the human hand. These instruments are insert through small incisions. The prostate is cut free and removed. The small incision and the use of the robotics mean that recovery and healing is faster than traditional surgery.

The operation usually requires at least one over night hospital stay.

Now for the bad news: The after effects of this operation.

1. Lost of prostrate means you are sterile. The prostate produces semen without it you can't "delivery".
2. More than not you will be impotent, at least for a little while. Most men will recover and with the help of a tiny blue pill be able to have an erection. For some men an erection may become a distant memory.
3. You will have to wear a catheter for at least a couple of weeks.

These are the "Big Three" side effects. Suffice it to say your lifestyle and sexual life will be forever changed.

In the next article we'll look at radiation. For now please don't use this article as your sole source of info. Do your research, talk to your doctor and partner and make the decision  that best suits your age, progression of cancer and health.

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