Magazine article Ebony

After the Prostate Cancer Diagnosis: Thanks to Advanced Technology, Treatment Options Can Lead to a Better Quality of Life

Magazine article Ebony

After the Prostate Cancer Diagnosis: Thanks to Advanced Technology, Treatment Options Can Lead to a Better Quality of Life

Article excerpt

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men after skin cancer. In 2007 alone approximately 219,000 men--30,000 of them African-American men--were diagnosed in the United States with the disease. African-American men are more likely to be diagnosed with more advanced cancer and are twice as likely to die. However, cure rates have improved over the last decade, primarily because of better screening. For years, the first treatment method considered by doctors was the removal of the prostate gland, a procedure that can lead to impotence and incontinence. But with advanced technology, there are several less-invasive treatment options for men who are concerned about functioning sexually after being treated. They include:

ROBOTIC PROSTATECTOMY

The laparoscopic robotic prostatectomy offers patients a less invasive surgical alternative to removing the prostate gland. Unlike the large incision required for open surgery, the laparoscopic robotic procedure requires several small incisions made in the abdomen to insert a lighted camera and robotic arms that the surgeon controls from a nearby console providing excellent visualization. Since the robotic arms give the surgeon superior precision, this nerve-sparing operation has high rates of bladder control and potency retention. The hospital stay averages less than 23 hours. There is very little blood loss and minimal post-surgical need for pain medication. The patient can usually resume normal activities within two weeks.

EXTERNAL RADIATION

External Radiation now offers more advanced therapies with Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT). IMRT allows higher doses of radiation to target the prostate for a more effective treatment, while surrounding areas such as the bladder, rectum and other pelvic organs receive much lower doses, minimizing the toxicity of radiation. …

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