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Doctors treat prostate cancer with "male lumpectomy"

By Catherine Wolf, KWMU

St. Louis, MO –

Doctors at the Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis say they're cautiously optimistic about a new "male lumpectomy" procedure to treat prostate cancer. Instead of removing the prostate, doctors insert small needles into the body and destroy tumors by freezing them.

Sitemen Cancer Center Chief of Urology Dr. Gerald Andriole has been performing the surgery for 18 months. He says unlike prostate removal, which can cause incontinence and erectile dysfunction, the lumpectomy usually has no negative side effects.

"We got to thinking is there an intermediate approach where we could eradicate the cancer by just destroying the areas of the prostate where the cancer is located. And, in so doing, we may prevent that man from ever dying of prostate cancer."

He says recent advances in medical imaging have allowed doctors to begin using the lumpectomy.

"The precision with which we're able to know where the cancer is located is substantially better than it has ever been. And that's what gives us the confidence that when we destroy a certain part of the prostate that that is in fact the part of the prostate that has the cancer in it."

Andriole says traditional approaches, like prostate removal, should still be used on men with more aggressive forms of prostate cancer.


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