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Understanding the Effects of Biopsies and Prostatectomy

Some men worry that having multiple biopsies during active surveillance might negatively affect their erections and urinary function if they need prostate cancer treatment later.

However, men probably don’t need to be concerned, according to new research published in the journal Urologic Oncology.

Overall, 11,140 men in Germany were involved in the study. They had been undergoing active surveillance for prostate cancer, but eventually needed to have their prostate gland surgically removed in a procedure called radical prostatectomy.

The researchers considered how many biopsies the men had had before their prostatectomy. They also assessed the men’s erections and urinary symptoms at one-, two-, and three-year follow-up points.

Most of the men (88%) had had just one biopsy. Eight percent had had two and 4% had had three or more. Men who had had more biopsies were generally older.

The number of biopsies didn’t seem to influence the men’s erectile or urinary function after their prostatectomy.

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