The prostate gland is an organ that surrounds the urinary urethra in men. It secretes fluid which mixes with sperm to make semen. The urethra carries urine from the bladder, through the prostate gland to the penis.
With the exception of skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer among men in the United States. Early detection may result from a blood test called a PSA (prostate-specific antigen), and/or a digital rectal exam. The digital rectal exam checks the rear surface of the prostate gland for any abnormalities. A lump or hardness found during the exam might be a sign of prostate cancer.
A radical prostatectomy is surgery done to remove the prostate gland in case of prostate cancer. Techniques for radical prostatectomy include the retropubic, suprapubic, perineal, laparoscopic, and robotic methods.
The suprapubic approach allows for removal of the lymph nodes and the ability to perform a nerve sparing modification that might prevent impotence post surgery.
Patients with prostate cancer might require radiation therapy after their surgery. Results depend on the extent of their disease, and the response of the tumor to resection (removal) and radiotherapy.
Review Date: 7/26/2021
Reviewed By: Kelly L. Stratton, MD, FACS, Associate Professor, Department of Urology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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