When considering prostatectomy, take into account your personal wishes, age, other medical conditions you may have, the stage and grade of your cancer and your PSA level. Your age and overall health will make a difference in how treatment may affect your quality of life. Any health problems you have before treatment, especially urinary, bowel or sexual function problems, will affect your recovery. Depending on your situation, active surveillance or radiation therapy may be reasonable options.
If you and your doctor decide that you need surgery, be sure to choose a highly skilled surgeon at a hospital that has a good success rate. Studies show that men have fewer side effects from prostate surgery when they have a skilled and experienced surgeon.
Robot-assisted prostatectomy may be best suited to a younger man in good health who has a small prostate and a small, lower-grade cancer.
Both surgery and radiation can cause urinary incontinence (not being able to control urination) or impotence (not being able to have an erection). The level of urinary incontinence and how long it lasts and the quality of the erections a man has after treatment will depend on whether the cancer has spread. These also depend on what treatment is used.
Surgery may completely remove your prostate cancer. But it is not possible to know ahead of time whether the cancer has spread beyond the prostate and is not curable with surgery alone.
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