Prostate cancer often takes the form of multiple -- frequently biologically distinct -- cancers scattered throughout the prostate, so many surgical treatments are designed to eliminate the entire gland.
Radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP), in which the surgeon removes the entire prostate and some surrounding tissue to cure the cancer, is a common prostate cancer treatment. This technique is most often used if the cancer hasn’t spread outside the prostate. The surgery may be performed via a small, lower abdominal single incision, or via five or six small incisions using an instrument called a laparoscope.
Robotic assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP), which uses a robotic system that enables manipulation through very small incisions, is also offered to patients whose cancer has been detected early and who have tumors that are not very aggressive.
When cancer has spread or for patients not fit for radical surgery, a different procedure, transurethral resection of the prostate, may be performed. Though the surgery does not affect the cancer, it can dramatically reduce symptoms from the cancer and improve urination.
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