Prostate Cancer Awareness month

Prostate cancer is the most common form of male cancer in the UK. As September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, we look at how treatment using robotic surgery in particular can help men with prostate cancer return to a normal life.

At The Royal Marsden, treatment for prostate cancer can include robotic surgery using one of the two da Vinci Xi machines. Thanks to supporters of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, The Royal Marsden has become the most comprehensive centre for robotic cancer surgery in the UK, ensuring patients with prostate cancer, as well as other cancers have access to the latest techniques and technology.

Graham on a horse

Graham Hutchinson (pictured left) aged 70, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in July 2018 after tests showed his PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels were high. He was referred to The Royal Marsden under the care of Mr. Declan Cahill, Consultant Urological Surgeon.

“As I arrived at the hospital, I knew that I was in excellent hands. Declan was calm, explained everything and answered all my questions. I was given a choice of treatment and chose to have robotic surgery using the Da Vinci Xi, a machine funded by The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity has funded two da Vinci Xi robots, one through a generous gift from the late philanthropist Don McCarthy and his children. These robots enable surgeons to conduct complex operations with greater accuracy. The da Vinci’s robotic arms move independently, enabling surgeons to operate on several different areas of the body at once. This reduces the need for further open surgery and for several surgeons to be involved – meaning less complex, more efficient procedures and a speedier recovery for the patient.

Graham continues, “On the day of surgery, I was so excited to get in and get it done. It was very quick, and because of this incredible machine the procedure is done through keyhole surgery rather than open surgery. The recovery time is much quicker, and I was home the following day with two weeks to put my feet up. It was incredible.

"I live on a small holding with lots of animals including chickens, rabbits and cats. I am also a keen horse rider. Declan knew this and told me that I should be back riding my horse, DiNozzo, eight weeks after surgery. And he was right.

"This July I had a check-up with Declan over the phone. He told me that nearly two years down the line my PSA is now undetectable. It was an incredible thing to hear and it is all thanks to the wonderful team at The Royal Marsden. I am a lucky man!”

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