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Survey Shows At-Risk Men Lacking In Prostate Cancer Knowledge
Date:9/9/2009

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Prostate cancer remains one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States. In fact, one in six men will develop prostate cancer.(1) It is also the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States.(1) But a recent survey suggests that many men at risk for the cancer still aren't aware of all available treatment options.

The survey, conducted late last year, reveals that nearly 50% of men aged 40 and older are not aware of the most common approach to surgery for prostate cancer -- robotic-assisted surgery to remove the prostate.(2)

"I had to do my own research and then self-admit myself to the [hospital]," says surgery patient Tim Propheter. " ... Most people are just told ... 'Sorry, you have to have surgery, and we'll set you up for such and such day,' and they don't know any better until they run into someone like me," he says.

This lack of information persists despite the fact that prostate cancer treatment has changed dramatically in the last decade. For example, surgery -- which remains the gold standard treatment for localized prostate cancer -- has become much less invasive. According to the American Urologic Association, the major benefit of prostatectomy, or prostate removal, is a potential "cancer cure" in patients with localized or early stage cancer.(3)

Research suggests that patients are not only seeking information on treatment options, but those who research their options are more than three times as likely to receive newer treatments than patients who don't seek information.(4)

Meanwhile, men today are now being screened for prostate cancer at younger and younger ages.(5) For these men, functional results -- continence and potency -- have increasingly serious relevancy. As middle-aged men with a full life ahead of them, they face difficult choices between treatm
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SOURCE Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
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