Reviewed by William Blahd on April 19, 2016
Sheldon Marks, MD. Urologist; Male Infertility Specialist, Prostate Cancer Specialist, Microsurgical Vasectomy Reversal Specialist, Tucson, AZ.
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Sheldon Marks, MD: Aggressive treatments are merely designed to remove the cancer, get it out of your body. If it's aggressive and we pursue a conservative approach, we may fail. And the problem with this is there's no second place in this race. You either survive or you don't. So aggressive treatment is surgical removal.
Sheldon Marks, MD (cont.): For many years it was a fairly horrendous big operation, a lot of blood loss, time in the intensive care, and you were miserable for a long time, weeks if not months. But with advances in surgical techniques, new laparoscopic techniques, the operation is a couple of hours. You're in and out. Some men are home the next day, feeling great. They can't believe they had anything done. In fact, the biggest problem is that we want men to take it easy and they feel so good they want to resume normal strenuous activity.
Sheldon Marks, MD (cont.): So aggressive surgical management, removing the cancer, is still the gold standard. It's still the primary way to get the cancer out of your body so you can live a normal life.
Narrator: And if I don't want surgery?
Sheldon Marks, MD: If you're not a candidate for aggressive surgery or you don't want aggressive surgery, which is always your option, then there are outstanding conservative approaches. In fact, some of the new techniques with radiation have revolutionized conservative therapy to where some people believe it may actually be as good as surgery. That includes some of the new radiation techniques, radioactive seed therapy, hormone therapy were also becoming far more positive with some of the chemotherapy options. And now with some of the new approaches with vaccine and gene therapy. Things are very exciting in a conservative way so that you can benefit from the treatment, but not suffer from the side effects of the treatment.