What should we expect after dad's prostate surgery?

2 answers | Last updated: Feb 10, 2011
Rhondacr asked...

My Dad is having prostate surgery in a week. Should I expect his doctor to put him on chemo or radiation right after surgery? From what my parents tell me, dad's surgeon doesn't think it will be necessary.

Expert Answers

Linda Ackerman, R.N. has clinical experience in oncology, women's health, and medical nursing. She has been practicing for more than 20 years and is a licensed registered nurse in both Florida and Wisconsin. In addition, she serves as a board member of Breast Cancer Recovery and the Wisconsin Cancer Council.

His individual treatment plan will depend on what stage his prostate cancer is post surgery. Based on the staging, he will fall into one of the following treatment options and one of the choices could be watchful waiting.

Treatment for prostate cancer may include one or more of the following-


Watchful waiting

Hormone therapy



I will offer information that could help you and your parents when speaking to the physicians.

I would also recommend that once the surgery is completed, your dad requests (second) opinions from both a medical and radiation oncologist along with the surgeon's and urologist's opinion.

Many factors determine staging with prostate cancer. A detailed listing of these factors is accessible on the American Cancer Society web page [prostate cancer] (http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/ProstateCancer/DetailedGuide/prostate-cancer-staging)

Along with the clinical aspect of staging, a recommendation would be to consideration the following information when making the final decision about treatment options;

"¢ Over all health condition

"¢ Your age and expected life span

"¢ Any other serious health conditions you may have

"¢ The stage and grade of your cancer

"¢ Your feelings (and your doctor's opinion) about the need to treat the cancer

"¢ The likelihood that each type of treatment will cure your cancer (or provide some other measure of benefit)

"¢ Your feelings about the side effects common with each treatment

There are actually 2 types of staging for prostate cancer.

1.Clinical stage - estimate of the extent of your disease, based on the results of the physical exam (including DRE), lab tests, prostate biopsy, and any imaging tests you have had.

2.Pathologic stage - which is based on the surgery and examination of the removed tissue. This means that if you have surgery, the stage of your cancer might actually change afterward (if cancer was found in a place it wasn't suspected, for example).

There are 4 categories for describing the local extent of the prostate tumor, ranging from T1 to T4. Most of these have subcategories as well.

There are many choices for treatment when it comes to dealing with prostate cancer. I hope this information will provide you, and your parents with some helpful information when speaking to his physicians.

Community Answers

Papatony answered...

I am 78 years old and have been treated for Prostate Cancer with,Radiation and Seeding in June 2009. Since treatment I have problems holding my water. It is known as Incontenence I believe.

No pains to speak of so the urination is the only problem.The longest period I have gone between bathroom visits is 4 hours. The average time between visits is about an hour.

This is a real problem when you want to travel anywhere.