When you receive a prostate cancer diagnosis, it helps when you understand your options. Not everyone receives surgery at first; sometimes, watchful waiting is the best option. However, when the time for surgery does come, you may notice that you have a range of options. It may help to understand the factors that determine which surgery you'll undergo.
Size of Your Prostate Gland
Not all forms of prostate cancer surgery are suitable for every gland or tumour size. For example, Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP) is one of the most popular choices. However, it isn't suitable for large glands and tumours. If your prostate is over a certain size, your surgeon may recommend using laser or open surgery instead. Laser surgery is often one of the more flexible options, as it's suitable for a large range of gland sizes.
The progression of your cancer can also determine the type of surgery you have. At the lower end of the risk scale, simpler surgeries are appropriate. This is usually the case when there's no sign of localised spread or cancer moving elsewhere. However, if your tumour is more advanced, your surgeon might recommend more extensive treatments. This can involve a radical prostatectomy, so they can remove as much of the tumour as possible and tackle any affected lymph nodes. Your surgeon may also recommend using your surgery alongside other treatments, such as hormone therapy or radiotherapy.
Current Medications and Conditions
Certain medications and conditions aren't conducive to different types of surgery. For example, if you rely on blood thinners, you may find that less invasive surgeries are appropriate. Similarly, if you're at high risk of clotting, your surgeon might recommend an approach that doesn't require too much recovery time. However, it's sometimes the case that you can work with your surgeon to make certain approaches an option. For example, they may be able to adjust your medications so they can use certain approaches.
Of course, your wishes play a big role in determining the type of surgery you want. Each one has the potential to present certain side effects, so it helps to know what they are before making your final decision. Consider your quality of life and how surgery could impact it. If you're unsure about prostate cancer surgery, it may help to talk it over with a support group. Discussing the matter with others who have been in your situation is great for gaining clarity.