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Common Question

Why not just remove the prostate?

Patients should understand that surgery, known as radical prostatectomy, does not always successfully remove all cancer cells.  This is particularly true for High Risk and advanced stage prostate cancer.  The reason that surgery can’t always cure people is that cancer cells are not visible nor can the surgeon remove cells that have spread beyond the prostate capsule without causing serious side effects.  Even years after surgery, patients can have a rising PSA which can mean that the cancer has started growing again.  When that happens, patients have several treatment options including radiation, surgery and hormone therapy. Surgery is good option for patients but it is associated with more side effects than radiation (as it is invasive). Patients should know what the risks are and that surgery does not always remove the cancer completely.  Discussing these options with your treatment team is critical so you understand the tradeoffs.

  • Currently Healthy

    The question “Why not just remove my prostate?”, is not answered here. The answer tells me that removing my prostrate may not cure my cancer. Informative answer to a slightly different question.