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Understanding the Effects of Biopsies and Prostatectomy

Understanding the Effects of Biopsies and ProstatectomyThere are several ways to treat prostate cancer, and some men don’t receive treatment right away. This approach is called active surveillance, and it’s often appropriate for men with low-risk, slow-growing cancer.

With active surveillance, doctors routinely assess how the cancer is behaving. This puts off aggressive treatment, like radiation and surgery, until it’s needed. Such therapies can have urinary and sexual side effects, so delaying them until necessary can give men a better quality of life, at least for a period of time. And some men never need further treatment.

Men who choose this path see their urologist regularly for tests, like digital rectal exams and PSA blood tests. They may also have routine biopsies.

During a biopsy, a small amount of prostate tissue is surgically removed with a tiny needle. The tissue is than analyzed by a lab to see whether the cancer is progressing. From there, a man and his cancer care team can make decisions on next steps.

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