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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/12/2008 5:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I just spoke to a friend of mine, diagnosed at age 45.  His prognosis is good, as is mine.
He said in his research he read that with traditional prostatectomy, the odds of cancer returning are about 9 percent.  With DaVinci, it's 27 percent.  He's still going with DaVinci, though I don't know why if he takes those figures seriously. I'm talking to a urologist who uses the DaVinci method, and he certainly never said anything about that.
Anybody know of any studies on this? 
Thanks, and best to all.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 847
   Posted 7/12/2008 5:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't know of any studies about this. You can use statistics to prove anything -- and I'll bet the DaVinci surgeons can produce figures to prove that their procedure is better.

My impression hanging around these forums is that people think DaVinci is better -- there seem to be few here who have had RRP, but a lot who have had DaVinci. (I had RRP four months ago with a favorable outcome, so far.)

If your friend can remember where he read the research, I sure we would be interested in it too.
Age 63. Other than cancer, in good health; BMI 20
Pre-op: No symptoms; PSA 5.7; Gleason 4+5=9; cancer in 4 of 12 cores
7 March 2008, RRP, non nerve sparing
Two nights in hospital; catheter and staples out after 7 days
Continent, no pads needed from the get-go
Post Op: Stage pT2 M- N-; clear margins and lymph nodes; Gleason 4+4=8; prostate weight: 37gm
6-week PSA: 0 

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 7/12/2008 7:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Miles,
If you would like facts, rather than opinions, then you might be interested in a recent review of PCa treatments in the Annals of Internal Medicine, March 2008, . . .
From this comes the following quote . . .
<!--StartFragment -->Available data insufficiently characterize the relative benefits of various treatments for clinically localized prostate cancer, and all therapies cause some harms.
All the best, whatever you decide.
<!--StartFragment -->
Diagnosed: June 2007. Aged 61. PSA 19.6. DRE negative.
Biopsy: June 2007; 2 cores of 18 positive.
MRI and Bone Scan: Negative.
Pathology: 5% of 1 core, "Small focus" in another core +ve.
Gleason 3 + 3 = 6.
Clinical: PCa considered confined to prostate. Stage T1c.
Treatment: After considering RP and HD Brachy, decided on Intermittent Triple Androgen Blockade Therapy for 1-year, using ZOLADEX, CASODEX 150 mg/day, AVODART 0.5 mg/day. Start PSA 19.2 (July 2007).
Current Status: PSA 0.018 (June 2008) - PSA nadir.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 176
   Posted 7/12/2008 9:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I actually think that statistic refers to the early daVinci surgeries that didn't go so well and often cancerous margins got left behind.  It is why my doctor, Catalona, said that regardless of open vs. daVinci, it was most important to go with an experienced surgeon who had done 100s of surgeries. 
When I was choosing between open vs. daVinci, I went to a daVinci team at Univ of Chicago.  There were two fine surgeons who had each done almost 1000 surgeries and their recurrence rates for organ confined PCa were very low...lower than the overall standards. 
Of course there are those who will say that surgeons choose good surgical candidate to pump their success rates, however I have many family members in the medical field and do not feel this is common practice at all.
Best advice is to find a good surgeon.  My research said there wasn't much difference between either surgery with a good surgeon.
My reason for going with open to minimize the risks of adhesions that can happen with the daVinci surgery.  It was something that had been problematic for me already so it was one risk i decided I didn't need to take.
42 yo. now
5/07 PSA 4.65 at routine physical
6/07 biopsy positive for cancer...Gleason 3+4...diagnosed at 41 y.o.
6/07-9/07 manic research and interviews with physicians across the country in search of the "right" decision.  I went to Mass General in Boston, Loma Linda, University of Chicago and Northwestern.
9/17/07 - Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy Surgery at Northwestern Memorial in Chicago by Dr. William Catalona.  Thankful the father of the PSA test was right here in Chicago.
Post op pathology was Gleason 3+4 with negative margins, no seminal vesicale involvement, no lymphatic or vascular invasion, bladder and urethral free and tumor volume was 5% of 27.3g.  
9/27/07 - Catheter removal...let the games begin...
12/07 - Threw out the pads.  I only had to use 1 pad per day for protection against minor drips. 
I started Trimix 8 weeks after surgery with success.
I hope someday I won't need injections, but I hope more that my PSA stays at 0 forever.

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