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When do you need surgery for prostate cancer?

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In some cases of advanced or recurrent prostate cancer, surgeons may remove the entire prostate gland in a surgery known as "salvage" prostatectomy. They usually do not perform the nerve-sparing form of prostatectomy. Often, surgeons will remove the pelvic lymph nodes at the same time.

  • Cryosurgery (also called cryotherapy) may be used in cases of recurrent prostate cancer if the cancer has not spread beyond the prostate. Cryosurgery is the use of extreme cold to destroy cancer cells.
  • To reduce testosterone levels in the body, doctors may sometimes recommend removing the testicles, a surgery called orchiectomy. After this surgery, some men choose to get prosthetics (artificial body parts) that resemble the shape of testicles.
  • Doctors may also remove part of the prostate gland with one of two procedures, either a transurethral resection of the prostate or a transurethral incision of the prostate. This relieves blockage caused by the prostate tumor, so urine can flow normally. This is a palliative measure, which means it is done to increase the patient's comfort level, not to treat the prostate cancer itself.

SOURCES: 

American Cancer Society. 

National Cancer Institute. 

Cancer Research UK.  

News release, Astellas Pharma Inc.

UpToDate.

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on July 24, 2018

SOURCES: 

American Cancer Society. 

National Cancer Institute. 

Cancer Research UK.  

News release, Astellas Pharma Inc.

UpToDate.

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on July 24, 2018

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What are emerging therapies for prostate cancer?

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