NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,791 terms related to cancer and medicine.

Browse the dictionary by selecting a letter of the alphabet or by entering a cancer-related word or phrase in the search box.

radical prostatectomy
(RA-dih-kul PROS-tuh-TEK-toh-mee)
Surgery to remove the entire prostate and some of the tissue around it. Nearby lymph nodes may also be removed. In a radical retropubic prostatectomy, an incision (cut) is made in the wall of the lower abdomen. In a radical perineal prostatectomy, an incision (cut) is made in the perineum (the area between the anus and scrotum). In a laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, several small incisions (cuts) are made in the wall of the abdomen. A laparoscope (a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and lens for viewing) is inserted through one opening to guide the surgery. Surgical instruments are inserted through the other openings to do the surgery.

EnlargeTwo panel drawing showing two ways  of doing a  radical prostatectomy;  in the first panel, dotted line shows where incision is made through the wall of the abdomen for a retropubic prostatectomy;  in the second panel, dotted line shows where incision is made in area between the scrotum and the anus for a perineal prostatectomy.

Two types of radical prostatectomy. In a retropubic prostatectomy, the prostate is removed through an incision in the wall of the abdomen. In a perineal prostatectomy, the prostate is removed through an incision in the area between the scrotum and the anus.