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With Prostate Cancer: Waiting for Symptoms Is Not an Option

NEW YORK, July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death among American males, but when caught early, prostate cancer has a 90% cure rate.

According to Dr. David Samadi, Chief, Division of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Department of Urology, at Mount Sinai Medical Center, "The key to fighting prostate cancer is not to wait until there are warning signs, because by then it may be too late."

The tendency of prostate cancer to grow without causing noticeable symptoms leads doctors to recommend that men over 50 get screened every year. However, Dr. Samadi recommends that anyone with a strong family history of the disease or other risk factors get screened at age 40.

Routine screening for prostate cancer consists of a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test and a digital rectal exam. Most doctors regard a PSA score of less than 4.0 as normal, however, Dr. Samadi regards a jump in PSA velocity to be a warning sign. For example, an increase in the PSA velocity from 0.8 one year to 1.6 the following may be a red flag requiring a biopsy to test for cancer cells. If there is need for treatment, there are surgical options for removal of the prostate with varying outcomes that can dramatically impact the recovery process and quality of life.

"The most common treatment for prostate cancer is surgical removal of the prostate or prostatectomy traditionally done by open surgery," Dr. Samadi says. "While results of open surgery are generally excellent, there are distinct downsides. For one thing, the surgeon makes an 8- to 10-inch incision to remove a 2-inch organ, which causes enough blood loss that about 20 percent of patients require a blood transfusion. That large incision also means more pain and a higher risk of infection."

Robotic prostate surgery is virtually "bloodless" and involves five small "keyhole" incisions in the patient's abdomen, through which fine instruments are inserted, along with a miniscule camera that displays magnified images from inside the body. The robotic control system enables the surgeon's hand movements to be more precise, resulting in less trauma to surrounding tissue, and minimal blood loss. Men who opt for robotic laparoscopic surgery are cancer free and able to resume normal lifestyles with total control over their sexual functions and bladder. Cancer free outcomes also result from traditional open prostate surgery, but men are rendered impotent and incontinent -- both of which may never be reversed. These side effects are devastating to prostate cancer patients, and have led to failed marriages and relationships, and depression.

Instead of two to three days of hospitalization and two months of recuperation typical with open surgery, robotic surgery patients go home the next day and are back to normal activities within two weeks. These patients have an excellent chance of being cancer-free with great quality of life. For more information, call 212-241-8779 or log on to

Media Contact: Cathy Callegari -- 212-579-1370 or

SOURCE Dr. David Samadi, Mount Sinai Medical Center
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