Being told you have prostate cancer can be a shock that can leave you feeling helpless. But imagine also being told that one of the best treatment options wasn’t an option at all for you because of your age. Unfortunately, this is a reality for many men who get the disease.
The radical treatment known as prostatectomy requires the complete removal of the prostate and the tissue surrounding it, including the seminal vesicles. It’s a major surgery, which is why some health professionals think it is too dangerous for older men to undergo.
However, it is also one of the most effective forms of surgery for the treatment of prostate cancer. As long as the cancer hasn’t spread to other organs, this type of surgery can dramatically improve a man’s chances of survival from the disease.
While some doctors still believe that men over the age of 70 shouldn’t seek out surgery to treat prostate cancer, a new study out of Canada is challenging this belief. The researchers conducting the study found that men who were as old as 79 could safely manage going through prostate surgery.
It seems that age has less to do with the risk of complications than the coinciding illnesses do. So, if a man is healthy at age 79, he may have a better chance of coming out of the surgery unscathed than does a younger man who has multiple health problems. The researchers found that age did have a slight impact on a man’s chance of survival after surgery, but the difference was minimal.
In fact, a history of stroke or heart disease had the biggest impact on the risk of death, and it was much higher than the risk related to age. So, if you are an otherwise healthy man who is facing prostate cancer, don’t let your doctor write off certain options such as prostatectomy just yet.
Make sure you discuss all the treatment options that are available to you with your doctor. This will help you to make the right choice to increase your chances of living a long and healthy life.