Prostate cancer doesn’t always have to be a radical decision

The bad news is that you’ve just been told you have a small cancer on your prostate. The good news is that because of improvements in biopsy techniques, for some men it is now possible to destroy only the cancerous part of the prostate.

For years, radical prostatectomy (complete removal of the prostate) has been considered the gold standard surgical treatment for prostate cancer. However, a man with a small and possibly slow-growing tumor might be reluctant to undergo this procedure because of the potential side effects – urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

According to Gerald Andriole, Jr., MD, chief of urologic surgery at Washington University School of Medicine, “In the past, biopsies were taken using a two-dimensional ultrasound device. Now, because of the latest advances in technology, it is possible to take prostate biopsies using an ultrasound that provides a three-dimensional picture of the prostate. This device, known as a TargetScan™, enables us to identify the precise size and shape of the prostate. It uses a computer algorithm to determine the optimal locations within the prostate to biopsy – providing the precise location of each biopsy. This information is used to guide the doctor during outpatient surgery to destroy only the part of the prostate where the cancer is located. The patient experiences minimal  adverse side-effects.”

In the future, if another cancer develops in a different part of the prostate, the procedure can be repeated. Also, there is always the option of removing the entire prostate at a later date.

This procedure is not appropriate in every case. If you would like more information about focal ablation of the prostate, please call 314-362-8200 to make an appointment with one of our urologic specialists. Patients are seen at:

The Center for Advanced Medicine

Urologic Surgery Center
4921 Parkview Place, 11th floor, Suite C
St. Louis, MO 63110

Progress West Healthcare Center
2 Progress Point Parkway, Suite G
O’Fallon, MO, 63368

Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital
Washington University Urology
Medical Building One, 1040 North Mason Road, Suite 122
Creve Coeur, MO, 63141