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Depending on several factors, prostate cancer treatment options can range from monitoring the tumor to radical prostatectomy (removal of the prostate gland). Determining factors for treatment options may include age and general health of the patient, stage and grade of the cancer, physical symptoms and an evaluation of the side effects associated with the different procedures.

McLaren offers all the most up to date treatment options to address prostate cancer:

Treatment Options


Brachytherapy is often used to treat prostate cancer and breast cancer. With this form of treatment, cancer specialists place radioactive "seeds" at the site of the tumor. These "seeds" can be temporary when used at high doses, or permanent when used at low doses.

In both types of brachytherapy, the radiation is directed to the cancer at the tumor site, enhancing cancer control while minimizing exposure to nearby healthy tissue and vital organs.

Prostate "seed" implants can be permanent, delivering a dose of radiation during a period up to one year.

MammoSite® and Contura Targeted Radiation Therapy are forms of brachytherapy used to treat breast cancer. It enables eligible women to be treated for five days instead of five to seven weeks, enhancing access to treatment for busy patients or those who live far from a cancer center.

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External Beam Radiation

External Beam Radiation Therapy focuses on the cancer from outside of the body. The treatment process is much like having an x-ray but for a longer period of time. Before the treatment begins a member from the treatment team will make ink marks on the skin that will be used to make sure the patient receives EBRT in the same spot every time. EBRT is typically used to treat early stages of cancer and to help relieve bone pain if cancer spreads to areas in the bone. Treatment takes place in an outpatient center five days per week usually over the course of seven to nine weeks. The actual procedure lasts only a couple of minutes and is painless.

External beam radiation treatment capabilities that improve accuracy and provide better patient outcomes with fewer side effects. External beam can include intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image guided radiation therapy (IGRT), and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT).

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Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)

IMRT is a high precision 3D radiotherapy that uses computer controlled linear accelerators to deliver the radiation to the tumor or to specific areas of the tumor. The IMRT treatment allows high doses of radiation to be administered to the tumor or to regions within the tumor while minimizing the dose to surrounding tissue and organs. A computer moves around the patient while delivering beams of radiation that comes from different angles and intensities to produce a custom radiation dose to the prostate tumor.

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Urology Procedures Performed through da Vinci Surgical System®

The Disease:  Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the prostate.  The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum.  It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder).  The prostate gland produces fluid that makes up part of the semen.

davinci prostatectomy

Approximately 16% of American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer sometime in their life.  Treatment options and prognosis depend on the stage of the cancer, the Gleason score, and the patient's age and general health.  With greater public awareness, early detection is on the rise and mortality rates are declining.

Additionally, new advances in medical technology are enabling cancer victims to go on to live active and productive lives after their treatment.  Consult with your doctor for advice on the options that are available to treat your specific condition.

The Surgical Treatment:  Radical Prostatectomy

One of the most common treatments for prostate cancer involves the surgical removal of the prostate gland, known as radical prostatectomy.  Traditional radical prostatectomy requires a large, 8 - 10 inch incision.  This open surgery commonly results in substantial blood loss, a lengthy and uncomfortable recovery and the risk of impotence and incontinence.

Prostatectomy incisions

da Vinci Prostatectomy:  A Less Invasive Surgical Procedure

If your doctor recommends surgery to treat your prostate cancer, you may be a candidate for a new, less-invasive surgical procedure called da Vinci Prostatectomy.  This procedure incorporates a state-of-the-art surgical system that helps your surgeon see vital anatomical structures more clearly and to perform a more precise surgical procedure.

For most patients, da Vinci Prostatectomy offers numerous potential benefits over open prostatectomy including:

Surgery image
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less pain
  • Less risk of infection
  • Less blood loss and transfusions
  • Less scarring
  • Faster recovery
  • Quicker return to normal activities

As with any surgical procedures, these benefits cannot be guaranteed as surgery is both patient and procedure specific.

The Enabling Technology:  da Vinci Surgical System®

The da Vinci Surgical System® is powered by state-of-the-art robotic technology.  The System allows your surgeon's hand movements to be scaled, filtered and translated into precise movement of micro-instruments within the operative site.

The da Vinci System® enhances surgical capabilities by enabling the performance of complex surgeries through tiny surgical openings.  The System cannot be programmed nor can it make decisions on its own.  The da Vinci System requires that every surgical maneuver be performed with direct input from your surgeon.

The da Vinci Surgical System® has been successfully used in thousands of prostate cancer procedures worldwide.

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