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Some Patients Paying for Their Prostate Cancer Surgery for the Rest of Their Lives

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla., Sept. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A growing chorus of patients and physicians are cautioning men to arm themselves with knowledge before agreeing to more radical surgeries to treat prostate cancer.

One of the loudest voices is that coming from Florida urologist Dr. Bert Vorstman, a nationally recognized prostate cancer specialist with 30 years expertise in prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment.

In an article in a major Florida newspaper, Dr. Vorstman warns patients and challenged colleagues to consider post-operative quality of life issues before agreeing to and performing radical surgeries such as the robotic treatment option.

Books by physicians and coverage by national media such as Men's Health, Fox News and the New York Times confirm that life after prostate surgery is sometimes worse than expected.

"Increasingly, many surgical disciplines have come to grips with the significant complications associated with radical cancer surgery and have modified their approach to cancer excision" said Dr. Vorstman. "For example, surgery for breast cancer has moved away from a radical approach and adopted the lumpectomy or local excision instead of removing the whole organ. This modified approach preserves survival and is associated with significantly less complications and improved quality of life (QoL)."

However, according to Vorstman, since urologists developed the radical surgical procedure as a treatment option for prostate cancer, they have wrestled with how to deal with the very significant downsides and after effects associated with this treatment option.

"The urology hierarchy, however, chose intentionally to stay the course with the radical approach," said Vorstman. "The common post-operative complications associated with this radical surgical approach are impotence and incontinence (limp and leaking)—complications that result in a significant negative impact on QoL not only for the man, but his wife and their partnership."

Dr. Vorstman contends that surgeons eventually recognized this disposition for complications after surgical removal of the prostate, and refined their radical approach to prostate cancer treatment and developed the "nerve sparing" technique in attempts to lessen this propensity for "limp and leaking."

However, he said, this "nerve sparing" approach for prostate cancer excision did not realize the expected great improvement in results with better preservation of erectile function and urinary continence.

This dilemma, according to Dr. Vorstman, then led some surgeons to create "new" definitions for impotence and incontinence so that their radical surgery was now associated with acceptable levels of these complications.

Subsequently, when the biotech industry found a use for their robotic machines in prostate cancer treatment, technology firms soon discovered that they could report even more impressive post operative results.

"These impressive treatment results for radical surgery/robotics were achieved through the coupling of these spurious definitions for limp and leaking with more misleading information," he contends. "This so called data for the non FDA trialed treatment option was then spiced with unbridled and unabashed marketing and propelled into the forefront of prostate cancer treatment as some quasi gold standard."

In an extensive article Dr. Vorstman details "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly" story behind prostate cancer and the industry that has been built around it.

About Dr. Bert Vorstman, MD, MS, FAAP, FRACS, FACS

Dr. Bert Vorstman has a passion to help men and their spouses fully understand the treatment available to them for prostate cancer, as well as the possible complications they face when seeking treatment. To contact Dr. Vorstman, please call 877-783-4438.

SOURCE Dr. Bert Vorstman
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