A diagnosis of cancer is extremely worrying for the patient, their friends and their family. Thankfully advances in medical treatments for prostate cancer mean that men diagnosed with this condition have a very promising option: robotic surgery.
Treatment options for prostate cancer
No patient is exactly like any other, and, if you've been diagnosed with prostate cancer, your treatment options will depend very much on your personal health and circumstances. Before embarking on treatment, your doctor will need to assess the extent of your cancer in order to understand which options or combination of treatment options are right for you.
The most common forms of treatment for prostate cancer are:
Surveillance, or simply monitoring the cancer through examinations and biopsies.
Radiation, which can be delivered internally via the insertion of radioactive pellets near the cancer site, or externally via a machine that sends radiation towards the cancerous cells.
Chemotherapy, which shrinks or destroys the cancerous cells with the use of powerful drugs.
Hormone therapy, which aims to prevent the cancer cells from growing by depriving them of the hormones they need to thrive.
Surgery, or a prostatectomy, which removes the cancerous cells altogether by removing the prostate and, if necessary, the surrounding tissue.
What is robotic prostate cancer surgery?
A relatively new and very promising treatment for prostate cancer is robotic surgery. Many patients and their medical teams prefer robotic prostate cancer surgery to traditional kinds of surgery, as it achieves the same ends of removing the prostate and any other damaged tissue while being minimally invasive.
How is robotic prostate cancer surgery performed?
Patients undergoing robotic surgery for prostate cancer are given an anaesthetic and prepared for surgery as usual. However, rather than a surgeon physically performing the operation, the surgeon monitors the surgery site via a computer screen, operating a set of robotic arms which conduct the actual operation.
What are the benefits of robotic prostate cancer surgery?
Robotic prostate cancer surgery has been praised for delivering significant benefits to patients, including the following:
Robotic surgery is more accurate than traditional surgical methods, as the robotic arms can maintain perfectly steady "hands" throughout the operation.
The catheter that patients are required to wear in the weeks following surgery is often able to be removed more quickly following robotic surgery.
The reduced size of the incision means patients generally experience less pain, less bleeding, reduced scarring and shorter recovery times in hospital following their surgery.
Choosing the best treatment for any patient is an intensely personal journey, and one that must be travelled with the patient's loved ones and medical team. Whatever option you choose, remember that your health is in good hands.