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Ask an expert: Prostate cancer video: Surgery

Want to know more about prostate cancer? Dr Nick Plowman, Clinical Oncologist at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London answers some common questions about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of prostate cancer. Use the video clip menu below to select a question.


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The expert: Dr Nick Plowman

Clinical Oncologist, St Barts, London


Video Transcript: Surgery for prostate cancer


Surgery is a very good option for some men with prostate cancer.


If a disease is localised within the capsule of the gland then surgery stands a good chance of removing it all and either an open operation in which the patient has an abdominal scar as the operation is through the abdomen – or through one of the laporoscopic methods using robotically assisted technology.


Radical prostatectomy – the surgical option for early prostate cancer is a reasonably large pelvic operation, but it is, in skilled hands, a highly successful one – and if the patient has obstructive urinary symptoms, that is he has difficulty in urinating and poor flow rate of his urinary stream it has the advantage of having a high chance of clearing the disease and getting rid of the obstructive urinary symptoms.


There are also risks of urinary incontinence and sexual impotence but these are relatively low risks in skilled hands.