Surgery is often a part of treatment. There are different types. The type will be based on the stage of cancer, and the age and overall health of the patient. The goal of surgery is to remove as much of the cancer as possible.
In early stage, the cancer has not spread outside of the prostate. Surgery is more likely to lead to a cure in this stage.
A radical prostatectomy will remove the prostate. It will also remove attached tubes called seminal vesicles and part of the vas deferens.
There are 2 methods:
Prostatectomies can be done as:
This surgery does have a risk of causing problems with urine control or erection. Some may be temporary problems. Others may be permanent and need other treatment or care.
Cryosurgery is destruction of tissue through freezing. A needle is passed into the prostate. A freezing gas is released into prostate tissue.
It is most often used to treat cancer in early stages. It is not always the first treatment used. It may also be done if cancer comes back after it has been treated.
Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is a procedure to remove prostate tissue. A scope is placed through the tube that carries urine out of the body. Tools can be passed through the tube to remove the prostate. The tissue may be destroyed with electric wire or laser. Removing some of the prostate can improve the flow of urine.
Testicles make hormones called androgens. Hormone-sensitive prostate cancer will grow faster with this hormone. An orchiectomy is the removal of one or both of the testicles. It will remove the major source of androgens.
Cryotherapy for prostate cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/treating/cryosurgery.html. Updated March 11, 2016. Accessed January 6, 2020.
Prostate Cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/prostate-cancer. Updated October 16, 2018. Accessed January 6, 2020.
Surgery for prostate cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/treating/surgery.html. Updated March 11, 2016. Accessed January 6, 2020.
Treatment option overview. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/prostate/patient/prostate-treatment-pdq#section/_142. Updated October 12, 2018. Accessed January 6, 2020.
What is cryotherapy? Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: https://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/prostate-cancer/treatment/cryotherapy. Accessed January 6, 2020.
What is radical prostatectomy (surgery) for prostate cancer? Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: https://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/prostate-cancer/treatment/surgery. Accessed January 6, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2019 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board Nicole Meregian, PA
Last Updated: 12/1/2020