NEW YORK, NY (Marketwire – Feb 29, 2012)
Watchful waiting and treatment choice are hot topics in the battle against prostate cancer. To treat or not to treat is even more heavily debated when men advance in age. A growing number of experts maintain that prostate cancer poses limited immediate health risks and that older patients need not subject themselves to treatment such as prostatecancer surgery or radiation for prostate cancer.
Dr. David Samadi, Vice Chairman, Department of Urology, and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, leads the charge in the aggressive and immediate treatment of prostate cancer. As a leading robotic prostatectomy surgeon, he has performed over 3,800 successful prostate removal surgeries; a significant number of his patients are over age 65.
“The justification is really very simple,” Dr. Samadi explains, “Prostate cancer is a deadly disease and robotic surgery is a highly effective, minimally invasive way to cure it. The patients I meet are not willing to sit idle with constant anxiety and worry about the state of their prostate cancer. They’re active men who — at any age — want to enjoy their families, their wives, and their busy lives.”
Yale School of Medicine recently published a study of nearly 40,000 prostate cancer patients age 67 and older. Their findings show an increase in active prostate cancer treatment in men with a shorter life expectancy and a moderate-risk diagnosis. As such, the research team suggests that, in some men, treatment may be more aggressive than warranted.
Prostate cancer is diagnosed through a PSA blood test and digital rectal exam (DRE). Abnormal values are subsequently followed by biopsy. Currently, however, prostate cancer diagnostic tools are limited in their ability to accurately stage the disease. This creates more complex treatment decisions whereby specialists and patients must weigh age, wellness, lifestyle, treatment side effects, and diagnosis details carefully.
“We can’t generalize what’s best for an otherwise healthy patient. Today age is very relative,” said Dr. Samadi, “When I know I can safely and successfully operate on an older man, eliminate his prostate cancer, and give him an enjoyable, worthwhile life I am confident recommending robotic surgery.”
Among Dr. Samadi’s success stories is 79-year-old Bernie Ruderman. Diagnosed last year with advanced prostate cancer, Bernie immediately sought Dr. Samadi. “I was skeptical about my chances of becoming his patient,” said Bernie, “but I felt my life depended on it.” After a thorough consultation, Dr. Samadi saw beyond Bernie’s age and agreed to operate on him. “This is a man who leads a very full life. He wasn’t willing to be sidelined by prostate cancer and I knew that with robotic surgery I could give him the full recovery and quality of life he deserves,” Dr. Samadi added.
Bernie’s surgery was a success and just six weeks later his PSA level was near zero. “He was walking around the hospital room just hours after the procedure. Bernie isn’t the exception, but he is an exceptional patient,” commended Dr. Samadi, “His determination for not just recovery, but a quality life at any age is a testament to the role that minimally invasive robotic surgery can play in curing prostate cancer.”
Bernie speaks candidly about his recovery post-robotic prostatectomy in Dr. Samadi’s newsletter, Robotic Oncology, including the short-lived urinary and sexual side effects he experienced. The newsletter includes many other articles on the latest prostate cancer information and treatment innovations.Press Release