'Robot surgery' could save men from prostate cancer

Surgeons have praised the pioneering use of robots in saving a record number of men from one of the UK’s deadliest cancers. 

The £1 million machines, known as Da Vinci robots, have performed life-saving surgery at University College London Hospitals on more than 500 men with advanced prostate cancer.

Surgeons credit them with being quicker, safer and the procedures have fewer side effects than existing treatments in a move that has been described as a 'game changer'.

Many men delay prostate cancer treatment over fears they may suffer incurable erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence. 

Prostate cancer is the most common form of the disease in men and the second biggest killer in men after lung cancer, causing 11,300 UK deaths a year.

The procedures carried out by Da Vinci robots are said to be quicker and safer and bring fewer side effects

The procedures carried out by Da Vinci robots are said to be quicker and safer and bring fewer side effects

The surgeon 'drives' the robot with his hands and feet, manipulating its tiny scissors and pliers inside the patient

The surgeon 'drives' the robot with his hands and feet, manipulating its tiny scissors and pliers inside the patient

David Ferris, a Londoner with 'aggressive' prostate cancer underwent robotic surgery to remove his prostate at University Collage London Hospital carried out by consultant urological surgeon Greg Shaw

David Ferris, a Londoner with 'aggressive' prostate cancer underwent robotic surgery to remove his prostate at University Collage London Hospital carried out by consultant urological surgeon Greg Shaw

'It gives men their lives back after prostate cancer' 

Professor John Kelly, clinical lead for urology at University College London Hospitals at Westmoreland Street hospital, said: 'Although [conventional] surgery removes the cancerous tumour, patients are left with life-changing after-effects like incontinence and impotence, which can be devastating.

'Robotic surgery has changed that - it gives us the precision to remove the cancerous tumour, preserving the tissues and functions around it. 

'It gives men their lives back after prostate cancer.' 

Patient can go home the next day 

The number of operations carried out by UCLH is expected to exceed 600 by the end of the year; the most ever performed by an NHS hospital in a year. 

SYMPTOMS OF PROSTATE CANCER 

Prostate cancer does not normally cause symptoms until the cancer has grown large enough to put pressure on the urethra.

This normally results in problems associated with urination. Symptoms can include:

Needing to urinate more frequently, often during the night Needing to rush to the toilet Difficulty in starting to pee (hesitancy) Straining or taking a long time while urinating Weak flow Feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully

Many men's prostates get larger as they get older due to a non-cancerous

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