The role of radical prostatectomy in the management of prostatic cancer

Patrick C. Walsh, Herbert Lepor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The indications for radical prostatectomy must reflect the following: an understanding of the natural history of the disease, the projected life span of the patient, the stage of the disease, and the relative morbidity and efficacy of alternative therapeutic regimens. The integration of clinical stage, histologic grade, and pelvic lymph node evaluation has improved the selection of the ideal candidate for radical prostatectomy. In men with localized disease, there is no evidence that any treatment other than radical prostatectomy produces better control of the primary lesion and of distant metastases than does total surgical excision of the prostate. Recently the morbidity of radical prostatectomy has been reduced by improvements in surgical technique. Intraoperative identification and preservation of the branches of the pelvic plexus that innervate the corpora cavernosa has resulted in long‐term postoperative potency rates of 70% without compromising complete excision of the tumor. Thus it appears possible today to preserve sexual function in a majority of patients undergoing radical prostatectomy without compromising the cancer operation, an observation that may encourage more physicians to take greater interest in diagnosing prostatic cancer in young men at a stage when it is still curable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)526-537
Number of pages12
JournalCancer
Volume60
Issue number3 S
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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