According to a new study, robot-assisted radical prostatectomies now outnumber other forms of prostate cancer surgery in the United States. Nearly 61 percent of prostatectomies were performed by robotic devices between 2008 and 2009.
What's more, robotic prostate surgery appears to have fewer complications and shorter hospital stays than traditional open prostatectomies, according to the lead researcher, Dr. Quoc-Dien Trinh, of Vattikuti Urology Institute, Henry Ford Health System, in Detroit. He reported his finding at the European Association of Urology 27th Annual Congress, in Paris.
The procedure has grown exponentially in recent years - from 9 percent of prostatectomies in 2003 to 61 percent, according to Medscape Medical News. In robot-assisted surgery, a surgeon operates mechanical arms to make smaller, more precise incisions. The first robot-assisted prostate surgery was performed only in 2000.
Learn more about robot-assisted surgery at About.com.
There are a number of treatment choices for men who are newly diagnosed with prostate cancer. Radiation therapy has long been one of the mainstays of prostate cancer treatment and there have been many advances within the field of radiation oncology over the last several years.
You can read all about high-dose rate brachytherapy - its advantages and disadvantages here.
A new study recently published in the medical journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention has shown that many types of cancer are more common in men who are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
The study also found that prostate cancer was actually less commonly diagnosed in men with HIV.
The authors attributed the increased rates of some types of cancers (such as lung cancer) to lifestyle choices and the weakened immune system of many HIV patients. It is unclear as to why prostate cancer is less common in men with HIV.
"Watchful waiting" is today accepted as a legitimate alternative for men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer who may not need to be immediately treated for their disease. It is sometimes known as "active surveillance" and involves carefully monitoring for the development of worsening or spreading prostate cancer - rather than actively treating the cancer.
This is obviously a controversial option in some doctors' and patients' eyes, but it does have a role in the correct circumstances.
You can read all about "watchful waiting" here.
When prostate cancer is diagnosed, your doctors will likely put you through a serious of tests to determine the "stage" of your prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer's stage simply refers to how far the cancer has extended or spread at the time of diagnosis. Staging prostate cancer is essential for determining the correct treatment.
There is much more to learn about prostate cancer staging.
A new study has shown that the drug denosumab can slow the development of prostate cancer metastases in the bones. The study was recently published in the medical journal, Lancet. The article's authors showed that denosumab slowed the development of bony metastases by roughly 4 months in men with advanced prostate cancer.
This may not sound like a huge advance in treatment, but it does represent another significant step forward in treating men with prostate cancer that has become resistant to hormone therapy. There currently are not a great deal of treatment options for men who fall into this category.
The results of the study are important because prostate cancer has a propensity to spread to the skeleton, especially in men whose cancer has become resistant to hormone-deprivation treatment (ie. hormone therapy). These metastases can cause pain as well as weaken the bones and lead to fractures.
The study did show that men taking denosumab had a higher rate of serious adverse side effects like osteonecrosis of the jaw and low calcium levels.
Researchers using advanced imaging tests recently concluded that an ancient Egyptian mummy, likely died with metastatic prostate cancer.
The study, recently published in the Journal of Paleopathology, found that the mummy - thought to be a man in his 50s - had numerous sclerotic spots throughout the bones of his pelvis and lower spine that were most consistent in appearance with metastases from prostate cancer.
The researchers, some of whom are physicians, used advanced multi-detector CT scans to analyze the mummy and find the prostate cancer metastases. Interestingly, they also discovered that the man had severe lower back arthritis as well as scoliosis (curvature of the spine).
Several members of the National Lacrosse League have begun growing moustaches (or "mos") as a part of the Movember campaign to raise awareness about prostate cancer and raise funds for prostate cancer research.
The Toronto Rock lacrosse team has a Movember website if you're interested in learning more or donating.
A new study has shown that teaching hospitals (those that take part in the training of medical students, physicians-in-training, or other healthcare professionals) have overall lower rates of complications following radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer.
The quirky Movember campaign returns for another year with a bigger presence around the world.
If you're not familiar with Movember, it is an international effort to encourage men to grow moustaches ("Mos") during the month of November to raise awareness and money for prostate cancer-related causes such as research.
It is a worthy cause and you can learn all about it on their website.