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Prostate cancer: 6. Surgical treatment of localized disease

  • S L Goldenberg
  • E W Ramsey
  • M A Jewett
Publication Date
Nov 17, 1998
  • Medicine


A 65-year-old man undergoes a routine checkup before retiring. His wife has urged him to have his prostate examined, because she has read about testing for prostate cancer and a friend has just died of this disease. During the rectal examination, the man's physician discovers some firmness in the right lobe of the prostate gland. The patient has had no urinary symptoms and is in excellent general health. Sexual function is normal. There is no history of prostate cancer; his father died of a stroke at age 86 years. Testing shows that the patient's prostate-specific antigen level is 9.3 ng/mL, and he is referred to a urologist. Transrectal ultrasound-guided needle biopsy reveals adenocarcinoma with a Gleason score of 7 (intermediate grade). At a follow-up meeting with his physician, the patient says, "I have been doing some research, and it appears that I should have treatment. However, what is less clear to me is what form of therapy is best--surgery or radiation treatment. Please tell me what you can about the state of the art with respect to surgery."

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