Course Content
1. Introduction to Prostate Cancer
o Understanding the prostate gland o Overview of prostate cancer o Risk factors and epidemiology
2. Signs and Symptoms
o Common signs and symptoms o When to seek medical attention o Diagnostic tests and screening guidelines
3. Diagnosis and Staging
o Biopsy procedures and interpretation o Staging techniques (TNM system) o Imaging modalities for staging
6. Nutrition and Lifestyle Considerations
o Diet and nutrition recommendations o Exercise and physical activity guidelines o Stress management techniques
Understanding Prostate Cancer: Online Course for Patients & Caregivers
About Lesson


Prostatectomy, the surgical removal of the prostate gland, is a primary treatment option for localized prostate cancer. Understanding the different surgical approaches, patient selection criteria, perioperative considerations, and potential outcomes associated with prostatectomy is essential for comprehensive prostate cancer management.

Surgical Approaches:

  1. Open Radical Prostatectomy:

    • Open radical prostatectomy involves making a single large incision in the lower abdomen to access and remove the prostate gland.
    • This approach provides direct visualization of the surgical field and tactile feedback but may result in longer hospital stays, increased blood loss, and slower recovery compared to minimally invasive techniques.
  2. Minimally Invasive Techniques:

    • Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy: This approach uses small incisions and specialized instruments, including a laparoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a camera), to perform the surgery with minimal tissue disruption.
    • Robot-assisted Radical Prostatectomy (RARP): RARP is a type of minimally invasive surgery performed using a robotic surgical system controlled by the surgeon. It offers enhanced precision, dexterity, and visualization compared to traditional laparoscopic techniques.

Patient Selection:

  1. Disease Characteristics:

    • Prostatectomy is most suitable for patients with localized prostate cancer (T1-T2 stage) who have a life expectancy of at least 10 years and are fit for surgery.
    • Patients with high-risk features such as locally advanced disease or aggressive tumor biology may require multimodal therapy or alternative treatment approaches.
  2. Preoperative Evaluation:

    • Preoperative assessment includes thorough evaluation of prostate cancer characteristics (e.g., Gleason score, clinical stage), overall health status, comorbidities, and functional status (e.g., urinary and sexual function).
    • Optimization of modifiable risk factors (e.g., smoking cessation, diabetes management) and perioperative care pathways can help minimize surgical complications and improve outcomes.

Perioperative Considerations:

  1. Surgical Complications:

    • Common complications of prostatectomy include urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, urethral stricture, and bladder neck contracture.
    • Surgeon experience, patient factors, and surgical technique influence the risk of complications and functional outcomes.
  2. Recovery and Rehabilitation:

    • Postoperative recovery involves early ambulation, pain management, and gradual resumption of activities of daily living.
    • Pelvic floor exercises (e.g., Kegel exercises) and bladder training may help improve urinary continence postoperatively.

Outcomes and Follow-Up:

  1. Oncologic Outcomes:

    • Prostatectomy provides excellent cancer control and long-term survival for appropriately selected patients with localized prostate cancer.
    • Adjuvant or salvage therapies (e.g., radiation therapy, androgen deprivation therapy) may be considered in cases of disease recurrence or adverse pathological features.
  2. Functional Outcomes:

    • Recovery of urinary continence and erectile function varies among patients and may continue to improve over time.
    • Patient education, counseling, and access to supportive services (e.g., sexual health resources, continence clinics) are essential for optimizing postoperative quality of life.

Online Resources for Further Learning:

Explore the following online resources to learn more about prostatectomy and surgical management of prostate cancer:

End of Topic Quiz:

  1. Which surgical approach for prostatectomy offers enhanced precision and dexterity compared to traditional laparoscopic techniques?

    • A) Open Radical Prostatectomy
    • B) Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy
    • C) Robot-assisted Radical Prostatectomy (RARP)
    • D) Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP)

    Answer: C) Robot-assisted Radical Prostatectomy (RARP)

  2. What is a common complication associated with prostatectomy?

    • A) Hypernatremia
    • B) Hepatic encephalopathy
    • C) Urinary incontinence
    • D) Myocardial infarction

    Answer: C) Urinary incontinence

Takeaway Assignment:

Divide students into groups and assign each group a specific aspect of prostatectomy (e.g., surgical technique, perioperative care, functional outcomes). Task them with preparing a presentation or infographic summarizing key information related to their assigned topic, including relevant research findings, clinical guidelines, and patient education resources. Encourage students to present their findings to the class and facilitate a discussion on the multidisciplinary approach to prostate cancer management involving surgery. This assignment will promote collaboration, critical thinking, and knowledge synthesis among students.

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