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Types of surgery to treat prostate cancer

Find out about the different types of surgery for prostate cancer.

The type of surgery you need for cancer of the prostate depends on:

  • the size of the cancer and whether it has spread outside the prostate gland
  • what the cells look like under a microscope
  • the likely outlook for your condition (your prognosis)
  • your general health
  • your symptoms

There are different types of surgery you might have for prostate cancer.

Surgery to remove your prostate gland

An operation to remove prostate cancer is major surgery. The aim of this surgery is to cure your cancer.

You have the operation under general anaesthetic. You will be asleep for the whole time. You may need to travel to a specialist centre to have your surgery.

You may have all of your prostate gland removed. A nerve sparing prostatectomy tries to prevent erection problems after the operation.   

Surgery to remove the inner part of your prostate to relieve symptoms

You may have only the inner part of your prostate removed to relieve symptoms.

Surgery to remove your testicles to help control the growth of the cancer

Some men have their testicles removed (orchidectomy) to help control the growth of their cancer.

Last reviewed: 
06 Jul 2016
  • Prostate cancer:  Treatment.

    British Medical Journal (BMJ) Best Practice Online. June 2016

  • Cancer of the prostate: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up

    C. Parker and others.  Annals of Oncology 2015. Vol. 26 (Supplement 5): v69–v77.

  • EAU Guidelines on prostate cancer. 2015                     

    N. Mottet and others

  • Radical prostatectomy for localised prostate cancer       

    UpToDate, June 2016

  • Prostate cancer:  diagnosis and management             

    National Inistitute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines [CG175] January 2014

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