Prostate cancer, which is one of the most common cancer types encountered in men, is nearing the end of its days as a scary disease, thanks to early diagnosis methods and successful treatment techniques. The surgical procedures for the treatment of this cancer, of which the risk of developing gets higher as men get older, are performed with the robotic surgery technique. Professor Bülent Soyupak, a urologist and the director and chief of medicine at Acıbadem Adana Hospital, emphasizes that robot-assisted prostate cancer operations yield more efficient results.
Prostate, a gland only men have, helps in urination. This gland, which is present in every man from birth, is associated with enlargement and certain other problems as men get older. Similar to benign prostate enlargement which causes problems in urination, prostate cancer is also one of the most common diseases encountered in men throughout the world. In Turkey, it ranks fifth among the most common cancer types. In the treatment of prostate cancer, which manifests itself with difficulty in urination, changes in urination and lower back pain in cases of metastasis, early diagnosis provides a major advantage. Early diagnosis involves checking of PSA levels in blood, as well as a digital rectal exam. Professor Soyupak states that evaluation of PSA levels by themselves cause some patients to be diagnosed with clinically insignificant degrees of prostate cancer and says, “This leads to unnecessary cancer treatments. In other words, high levels of PSA do not always mean that the person has prostate cancer. The patients’ medical family histories need to be examined as well”.
The treatment of prostate cancer is planned in accordance with the patient’s age, additional pathological conditions and the stage of cancer. The treatment involves either open surgery or laparoscopic radical prostatectomy. Scientific data indicates that over 80% of the patients in USA undergo robot-assisted radical prostatectomy. In prostatectomy, which is intended for removal of the prostate as a whole, the advantages of robotic surgery are listed by Professor Soyupak as follows: “The robotic device provides comfort for the surgeon by ensuring the incisions to be small and the image quality to be high. These improvements are reflected on the patient as well. The patient loses less blood and the risk of damaging the nerves that are associated with the sexual function, as well as the risk of causing incontinence, is minimized. It should also not be forgotten that the method ensures for patients to be discharged from the hospital sooner and experience less postoperative complications.” The extensions of the robotic device make it possible for surgeons to perform maneuvers that cannot be performed manually due to the nature of wrists. Three-dimensional imaging and elimination of all potential hand tremors are among the advantages offered by the method as well.
The studies that have been conducted so far indicate that a healthy prostate requires a healthy heart. In other words, being generally healthy, exercising regularly, maintaining an ideal weight, and having a diet rich in fruits and vegetables both protect the heart and decrease the risk of developing cancer. Even if the disease develops, these measures remain beneficial by helping the patient to go through the recovery process more easily. Men with prostate cases in the family history need to start undergoing examinations at an earlier stage than others. In any case, it is necessary for all men over the age of 45 to undergo an examination every year and avoid neglecting check-ups.