Barbara Ercole, MD
- Staff Urologist
- Section of Urologic Oncology
- Department of Urology
- Cleveland Clinic Florida
About 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men and the second leading cause of cancer death for men in the United States, behind lung cancer. This type of cancer mainly affects older men over the age of 65, with rare cases occurring in men under the age of 50. Prostate cancer is defined as a slowly growing malignant tumor that develops in the prostate gland, often causing no symptoms until it is in an advanced stage. If the tumor develops quickly and spreads outside of the prostate gland to the bones and other organs, it can be fatal. The disease is usually discovered from the results of a PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test which indicates your risk level for developing prostate cancer or through a digital rectal examination performed by a health care provider. Your doctor may then order additional testing, such as a biopsy of tissue from your prostate, to confirm a diagnosis of prostate cancer. Men diagnosed with prostate cancer in its early stages have very good outcomes for survival, as treatment is most effective early on.
For men who are otherwise healthy, a commonly recommended treatment option for early stage prostate cancer is surgery. An open prostatectomy is the traditional form of surgery for removing the prostate gland, however, this kind of procedure may require several days in the hospital and a recovery period of several weeks. Cleveland Clinic Florida currently offers patients other minimally invasive surgical options to treat prostate cancer involving smaller incisions and resulting in shorter recovery times. Pioneered by surgeons at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, the laparoscopic radical prostatectomy requires only five button-hole incisions and allows the surgeon to use a tiny camera, or laparoscope, and other instruments to conduct the operation and remove the prostate.
The robotic laparoscopic prostatectomy is another minimally invasive procedure that takes advantage of Cleveland Clinic Florida’s state-of-the-art robotic operating suite. This operating room is the first in Florida and the second in the nation to combine magnified video projection and a 3-D robotic surgical system. During this procedure, the surgeon uses a robotic arm to guide the laparoscope through a small incision to remove the cancerous prostate and affected tissue. The 3-D vision system improves precision and also allows the surgeon to recognize and control small blood vessels, thereby reducing blood loss.
The Department of Urology at Cleveland Clinic Florida provides a full range of diagnostic testing and advanced treatment options for urologic cancers of the prostate. Please join us to have your questions answered about minimally invasive surgical options for prostate cancer with Cleveland Clinic Florida expert urologist Barbara Ercole, MD.
Barbara Ercole, MD is a urologist in the Department of Urology at Cleveland Clinic Florida. Her areas of expertise include penile cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer and urologic oncology, among others. She also specializes in laparoscopic and robotic-assisted laparoscopy, nerve-sparing prostatectomy, as well as radical and robotic prostatectomy.
To make an appointment with Barbara Ercole, MD or any of the other specialists in the Department of Urology at Cleveland Clinic Florida, please call 877.463.2010. You can also visit us online at www.clevelandclinicflorida.org
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