Recently Mitt Romney announced he was operated on for prostate by Dr. Thomas Ahrling at the University of California Irvine Hospital because he had a slow-growing tumor. In an article for The Huffington Post, expert urology Dr. David Samadi used the occasion to educate readers on their treatment options if they ever receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer. 27,000 men die of it every year. 16% of American men get prostate cancer in their lifetimes.
— Dr. David Samadi (@drdavidsamadi) February 22, 2016
Statistically, the odds are high for all older men. The American Cancer Society estimates 164,690 American men will get the dread news in 2018. It’s very rare in men under 40, but the risk goes up as men age. 60% of cases are in men aged 65 or older. And they have two basic treatment options: surgery and radiation therapy.
However, studies show the options are not equal, especially if the cancer remains localized within the prostate. Every cancer is more difficult to successfully treat after it’s begun to spread to other parts of the body. According to the studies, men who have their prostates removed have a near-100% survival rate. Twice as many men who receive the radiation therapy first will die as the men who opt for an operation surgery first. And they are 150% likely to die earlier than the men get treated with surgery first.
On Dr. David Samadi’s website, he has a video of him discussing these statistics as a guest on the Fox News Housecall show. One of the Fox hosts says that many men may be afraid of things related to the surgery. They may fear that the surgery will cause the cancer to spread. Dr. Samadi agrees that fear comes up. He also says many men are afraid that after the surgery they will be incontinent or impotent. But the answer depends on the skill of the surgeon. He said that with experienced surgeons, 95-97% of patients remain continent. Somewhere between 50% and 80% of men retain sexual function. The field of prostate surgery has come a long way in recent years. In his article, he advises men to always discuss this with their surgeon. Ask them how experienced they are. And ask for the percentages of their patients who experience post-surgery urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction and a return of the prostate cancer. In the video, he also advises patients to ask their doctors whether or not they do open surgery or use robotics.
Dr. David Samadi’s Social Media: twitter.com/drdavidsamadi