By Christy Lewis
MEDFORD, Ore. — The debate over prostate cancer is turning to prostate cancer surgery: if it’s really worth it or not. Doctor’s are calling it game changing research that validates the way treat their prostate cancer patients.
Bob Cole was diagnosed with prostate cancer about two years ago, but he says he feels fine. That’s because he has the low-risk kind of cancer…a kind that probably won’t end his life early.
“I feel great! I mean, I play golf, I ski, and I do everything,” Bob says. “There’s no effect on me whatsoever, none!”
A new study says men with low-risk prostate cancer won’t see significant benefits from getting surgery called radical prostatectomy.
“Men over the age of 70 with prostate cancer, especially low risk cancer, will almost certainly die of something other than prostate cancer, even in some cases [with] immediate risk,” says Dr. Jim Loos, a local urologist. “Radical prostatectomy is removing the entire prostate…you remove the entire prostate, not just the part that has the cancer.”
With his doctor’s advice and his own research, Bob decided to go without surgery and simply monitor his cancer.
The study shows the likelihood of living longer is low and the risk for incontinence and erectile dysfunction from the surgery are high. After 10 years, nearly 6% of the men who received surgery died from prostate cancer, compared to the 8% of those whose doctors monitored their progress.