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Which Type Of Prostate Cancer Surgery Is Right For Me?


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What does prostate cancer surgery involve?

There are many types of prostate cancer surgery. All prostate cancer surgeries are designed to remove the entire prostate, performing a prostatectomy.

A prostatectomy is a necessary treatment for prostate cancer because 80% of prostate cancers have more than one tumour. This is called multifocal prostate cancer and involves several small tumours distributed throughout the prostate. Tumours are often also found in the seminal vesicles; these are located at the back of the prostate and store the fluid which is ejaculated from the penis during climax.

Why are lymph nodes removed during some prostate cancer surgeries?

In more advanced cases of prostate cancer, when a patient has a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level of 10 or more and a cancer grade of 7 or more, the lymph nodes situated in the pelvis are also removed. This is called lymph node dissection and is necessary for patients with intermediate or high-risk prostate cancer where there is a greater risk that the cancer cells have spread outside of the prostate.

How is prostate cancer graded? The Gleason grading system

When choosing whether surgery is needed and the best type of surgery for a patient with prostate cancer, the grade of the cancer plays an important role.

Prostate cancer is graded using a technique called the Gleason grading system. The Gleason grade describes how aggressive the prostate cancer is, and is determined by studying a sample of the cancer cells, taken by biopsy, under a microscope.

The Gleason grade is important as it tells a doctor how quickly the prostate cancer is likely to spread and the best course of action to take.

A grade of 6 or less means that the prostate cancer is unlikely to spread1. A Gleason score of 8 or more means that there is a good chance the prostate cancer will spread1.

Mr Christopher Eden
Consultant Urologist

Reference:
1. NHS Choices – Diagnosing prostate cancer. Date last updated: 14.02.2011. Website:
www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Cancer-of-the-prostate/Pages/Diagnosis.aspx

 

10524 Reviewed November 2012

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