With Prostate Cancer: Waiting for Symptoms Is Not an Option

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 General News
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NEW YORK, July 1 Prostate cancer is the second leadingcause of death among American males, but when caught early, prostate cancerhas a 90% cure rate.

According to Dr. David Samadi, Chief, Division of Robotics and MinimallyInvasive Surgery, Department of Urology, at Mount Sinai Medical Center, "Thekey to fighting prostate cancer is not to wait until there are warning signs,because by then it may be too late."

The tendency of prostate cancer to grow without causing noticeablesymptoms leads doctors to recommend that men over 50 get screened every year.However, Dr. Samadi recommends that anyone with a strong family history of thedisease or other risk factors get screened at age 40.

Routine screening for prostate cancer consists of a PSA (prostate-specificantigen) blood test and a digital rectal exam. Most doctors regard a PSA scoreof less than 4.0 as normal, however, Dr. Samadi regards a jump in PSA velocityto be a warning sign. For example, an increase in the PSA velocity from 0.8one year to 1.6 the following may be a red flag requiring a biopsy to test forcancer cells. If there is need for treatment, there are surgical options forremoval of the prostate with varying outcomes that can dramatically impact therecovery process and quality of life.

"The most common treatment for prostate cancer is surgical removal of theprostate or prostatectomy traditionally done by open surgery," Dr. Samadisays. "While results of open surgery are generally excellent, there aredistinct downsides. For one thing, the surgeon makes an 8- to 10-inch incisionto remove a 2-inch organ, which causes enough blood loss that about 20 percentof patients require a blood transfusion. That large incision also means morepain and a higher risk of infection."

Robotic prostate surgery is virtually "bloodless" and involves five small"keyhole" incisions in the patient's abdomen, through which fine instrumentsare inserted, along with a miniscule camera that displays magnified imagesfrom inside the body. The robotic control system enables the surgeon's handmovements to be more precise, resulting in less trauma to surrounding tissue,and minimal blood loss. Men who opt for robotic laparoscopic surgery arecancer free and able to resume normal lifestyles with total control over theirsexual functions and bladder. Cancer free outcomes also result fromtraditional open prostate surgery, but men are rendered impotent andincontinent -- both of which may never be reversed. These side effects aredevastating to prostate cancer patients, and have led to failed marriages andrelationships, and depression.

Instead of two to three days of hospitalization and two months ofrecuperation typical with open surgery, robotic surgery patients go home thenext day and are back to normal activities within two weeks. These patientshave an excellent chance of being cancer-free with great quality of life. Formore information, call 212-241-8779 or log on to www.roboticoncology.com.

Media Contact: Cathy Callegari -- 212-579-1370 or cathy@callprinc.com

SOURCE Dr. David Samadi, Mount Sinai Medical Center

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