Tackling prostate cancer in Worcestershire

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust Charitable Fund launched the £1 million Rory the Robot fundraising appeal in March 2014. Since then over £450,000 has been raised towards the cost of a state of the art da Vinci robotic surgical system. The system itself will primarily be used to treat patients with prostate cancer but has the potential to be utilised by other surgical teams in the future.

In Worcestershire alone there are between 125 to 150 radical prostate cancer operations carried out each year. Approximately 2,500 men in the region are surviving prostate cancer at any one time.

Prostate cancer unfortunately will be the most common cancer by 2030.


What is 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. The prostate gland produces fluid that makes up part of the semen. Approximately 500 patients in Worcestershire are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. With greater awareness, early detection is on the rise.

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 an 8-10 inch incision. Open surgery commonly results in substantial blood loss, a lengthy uncomfortable recovery and the risk of impotence and incontinence.


Why robotic surgery?

Robotic assisted surgery for prostate cancer is a keyhole procedure to remove the prostate gland using a state-of-the-art system. The robotic equipment enables a more precise procedure. Instead of open surgery, the procedure involves making five small incisions.

The benefits of robotic surgery include:

  • Faster recovery time
  • Smaller incisions
  • Reduced blood loss
  • HD and 3D operative view
  • Discharge 24 hours after surgery
  • Securing the future of cancer care


Mr Chris Anderson, consultant Urological Surgeon - St George's Hospital Londons, has been performing robotic-assisted prostate surgery for five years. His unit undertakes over 150 robot assisted operations per year:

"The introduction of our robotic programme reduced the hospital stay. We saw 43% of our patients being discharged the next day. I immediately noticed that my patients had less pain and recovered faster."

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