Robotic prostate cancer surgery is a monumental “treatment” scam that fails to save a significant number of lives and is associated with many lifelong complications. Most everything about prostate cancer awareness, screening and treatment simply exposes men to an extraordinary and dangerous journey of medical lies.
Prostate Cancer Surgery: the first barefaced lies
The lie that started the rot in the prostate cancer story was H.H. Young’s contention that a cancerous prostate could be removed surgically and provide the patient with “remarkably satisfactory functional results” (“The Early Diagnosis and Radical Cure of Carcinoma of the Prostate”). Not only was the title of Young’s paper deceitful in that there was NO evidence for early diagnosis of prostate cancer, but there was ZERO evidence for cure. Furthermore, his so-called treatment was clearly unsafe as it resulted in the deaths of his first two patients (one postoperatively and the other after undergoing surgery to treat a common complication), while the remaining men were left with lifelong urinary troubles after prolonged hospitalizations.
Additionally, any concern Young may have had for his patients’ quality-of-life after surgery, it was greatly overshadowed by his preoccupation and grandstanding with the technical particulars of his “curative” radical technique. While Young clearly downplayed the great perils associated with his prostate cancer surgery, his mentor at Johns Hopkins, W.S. Halstead (who championed the mutilating radical mastectomy for treating breast cancer), pressed Young to continue experimenting with his “novel” technique. Though hardly original, this dangerous operation was founded upon ancient and often deadly approaches for removing bladder stones and, Leisrinks’ 1883 publication describing his method for cutting out a prostate.
Prostate Cancer Surgery: glaring human medical experimentation
Despite very clear evidence of great dangers and a lack of benefits associated with prostate cancer surgery, urologists remained convinced that this surgical treatment philosophy was inherently valid and designed their studies to “prove” that this extraordinary bias was correct. Naturally, such a fundamental study design flaw simply endorsed and confirmed preconceived notions rather than generating reproducible and defensible data. Steadfastly indifferent to the many complications and safety concerns resulting from prostate cancer surgery, urologists simply continued in their quest to “perfect” this crippling operation.
Under the guise of medical advancements, surgeons conducted unchecked human experimentation over a period of 100 years or so, exploring various approaches and techniques for getting at the prostate (perineal, ischiorectal, sacroperineal and, retropubic). Even vulnerable Skid Row patients were exploited and coerced into having open biopsies and radical prostate surgery if any cancer was detected. From testing various conventional surgical methods surgeons went on eventually to experiment with laparoscopic approaches and then, laparoscopic robotic assisted radical prostatectomy or, robotic prostate cancer surgery. However, deaf and blind to the many clear hazards associated with radical prostate surgery, urologists not only continued to trumpet the damaging surgery to colleagues, but fooled the medically uninformed public by referring to their baseless surgical ideology as “standard practice” and or, “gold standard treatment”.
Prostate Cancer Surgery: the bogus FDA approval
The unbelievably deceptive and harmful practices of the prostate cancer industry are underscored further by the way in which the robotic device gained its FDA “approval”. Despite a low-level clinical study undertaken in Mexico failing to document any benefit of the robotic device for use in gallbladder or anti-reflux fundoplication surgery, the tool was given an approval by the FDA for use in general surgical procedures anyway.
However, upon finding that there was no lucrative market for their device in gallbladder surgery, the robotics company quickly locked on to impressionable urologists still mesmerized by the illusion of “curative” radical prostate cancer surgery. Shockingly, without the robotic apparatus ever being scientifically tested on even a single case of prostate cancer, the company was able to obtain a rubber-stamped FDA “approval” by exploiting the misguided FDA 510 (k) process and capitalizing on the irrelevant matter that the instruments to be used for robotic prostate removal were substantially similar to the instruments already used for robotic gallbladder surgery. Not only was this contention absolutely unconnected and immaterial but, there is zero similarity between these two operations. The FDA approval process for this so-called treatment was undeniably inappropriate and, only exposed vulnerable American men to a gigantic health hazard.
Prostate Cancer Surgery: a minefield of complications
Because of the fraudulent manner in which robotic prostate cancer surgery received its FDA approval, it is hardly surprising that the risks and complications associated with this scientifically unproven treatment are probably greater than that for any other cancer operation. Even Young’s line about men being left with “remarkably satisfactory functional results”, is one of medicine’s all-time greatest lies.
Urologists clearly recognize the many complications associated with the disastrous radical prostatectomy since they have developed several important intraoperative techniques to try and overcome potentially life-threatening dangers from occurring during the procedure. As well, they have developed rigorous preoperative counselling programs to get you mentally prepared for the worst (“outcome expectations”) and, post-operative counselling programs so that you can deal with the worst. Obviously, counselling is important for urologists as the list of postoperative complications associated with this supposed treatment is appalling. From deaths within 30 days of surgery to suicidal depression; every possible sexual problem imaginable (damaged or lack of erection, lack of emission, lack of ejaculate and or, ejaculating urine, pain on orgasm, infertility and naturally, lack of libido); penile issues (shortened penis, penile pain, numbness, curvature, wasting and, a general loss of manhood); testicular pain; bladder problems (urinary leakage, bladder neck scarring, bladder stones, infections), to a host of other general complications. Even worse, robotic prostate cancer surgery will leave cancer behind in some 20-40% of cases (positive margin) and, the manipulation of a cancerous prostate during robotic surgery has been shown to shower tumor cells into the circulation which can then settle in bone marrow for some possible future metastatic development.
Prostate Cancer Surgery: more surgery for complications
The disturbing list of complications associated with robotic prostate cancer surgery have spawned several more money-making schemes to take advantage of your “unusual and uncommon” postoperative troubles. Routinely, you will be directed to various “recovery” programs to deal with the inevitable “limp and leaking” complications. From “penile rehabilitation” projects (despite the meaningless assurances of “nerve-sparing technique”) using expensive viagra/cialis pills, prostaglandin urethral suppositories, vacuum devices, vibration instruments, low intensity shock wave treatment, penile injections or, a combination of these options to, “continence rehabilitation” strategies using worthless Kegel exercises, costly pads, diapers, biofeedback exercises and or, penile clamps. However, despite these many rehabilitation offerings, most men will fail these financially rewarding game plans and, be steered towards more money-making surgery with cystoscopic sphincter bulking injections, urethral slings or artificial sphincter placement for leakage control and or, a penile prosthesis for your limp penis. While the treatment of complications resulting from this debilitating prostate cancer surgery ensures endless revenue for your doctor, even more surgery and profiteering can be counted on to correct the inevitable failures and erosions associated with these implanted devices.
Prostate Cancer Surgery: the many warnings of danger
For years, various Government agencies have been concerned about the “safety and benefits” of prostate cancer screening and treatment being promoted by the prostate cancer industry. In fact, the USPSTF (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force) has published several warnings questioning the supposed benefits of treating screen-detected prostate cancer while the FDA’s own product safety site MAUDE (Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience) has pages of self-reported harms (representing only about 8% of actual adverse events because of the site’s complexity) associated with the robotic device for radical prostatectomy. Also, a Google search for complications associated with robotic prostate cancer surgery reveals scores of product liability lawsuits against the robot manufacturer and its surgeons for performing the risky unproven robotic prostatectomy. Additionally, physicians Anthony Horan MD, “The Big Scare”, Richard Ablin MD (the discoverer of the PSA) and Ron Piana, “The Great Prostate Hoax” and, Otis Brawley MD, Chief Medical officer of the American Cancer Society, have also spearheaded a slew of warnings about the many dangers associated with PSA-based screening and prostate cancer treatment. Even the robotic device company itself clearly recognizes the many dangers associated with their tool for prostate cancer surgery as their website disclaimers have got longer with each website revision.
Prostate Cancer Surgery: a journey of medical lies
The program recommended by urologists for their early prostate cancer detection-to-robotic “treatment” is an absolute farce because only the 15% or so of high-risk prostate cancers are potentially lethal and, current screening methods often fail to detect them. Furthermore, early prostate cancer is not associated with any symptoms; the prostate exam (DRE or digital rectal exam) and PSA (prostatic specific antigen) blood test are highly unreliable. In fact, the PSA is NOT cancer-specific and its limits of normal (0-4 ng/ml) are artificial (big prostates generate “big” PSAs). Even the newer and costly biomarker tests are not foolproof for detecting only high-risk disease. Additionally, the so-called standard 12-core needle biopsy of the prostate is not only unsafe and unscientific but, samples randomly only some 0.1- 0.3% of the prostate, leaving more than 99% unchecked. Also, the “staging” of your cancer with CAT, bone and PET scans is highly unreliable because these tests are grossly insensitive. Moreover, despite so-called negative imaging studies in those with seemingly organ-confined high-risk disease, cancer cells can often be detected in the bone marrow of these men when using sophisticated staining techniques. Finally, both radiologists and pathologists are prone to reading errors making even their interpretations not dependable.
Prostate Cancer Surgery: treating mostly bogus cancers
Worse than the charade of unreliable and risky PSA-based screening and harmful robotic treatment is the fact that the most common prostate cancer detected and treated during this irrational screening process is the Gleason 3+3=6 “cancer”. This so-called cancer is in fact a BOGUS cancer because it is missing several of the molecular biology mechanisms typically found in real cancer cells (Klotz and others) and, since the Gleason 6 LACKS the hallmarks of a cancer it should never have been labelled as a cancer. Besides, the cell division rate is such that from mutation to a growth of just under half an inch takes about 40 years; some 50% of 50-year-olds will have areas of Gleason 6 disease in their prostate and, men do not die from pure Gleason 6 disease.
The gaming of the Gleason 6 “cancer” label by corrupt urologists serves two devious purposes. First, they are clearly aware that when patients hear the cancer word they are easily fooled into thinking they need urgent robotic “treatment” (and, deceived into thinking they will be “survivors” when they never had a real cancer). Second, if men happened to escape this nasty “treatment” proposal, urologists can often goad them into an abusive program of periodic but unnecessary prostate exams and more risky and unscientific biopsies under the guise of active surveillance. This baseless program simply allows the same unscrupulous doctors another chance at pushing men into unneeded injurious surgery by unloading more falsehoods and scare-tactics such as possible cancer “upgrading” or “progressing”. These alleged processes occur NOT because the Gleason 6 is changing but, because the risky, illogical 12-core needle biopsy samples randomly only 0.1% of the prostate and, has missed an area of high-risk cancer somewhere else in the 99.9% of the prostate which was not sampled (prostate cancers often arise in 1-5 different areas). Furthermore, because the important high-risk prostate cancers may make little or no PSA, they can be missed through both PSA-based screening and, this feeble surveillance program. Only a 3T mp-MRI evaluates the whole prostate and, in the right hands is a reliable prostate screening tool for ignoring the Gleason 6 pseudo-cancer and, for detecting only the few potentially deadly prostate cancers with significant amounts of pattern 4 or 5 disease. Then, if size and location of these high-risk cancers are ideal, MRI-guided focal laser ablation or MRI-guided transurethral HIFU may be reasonable treatments.
Prostate Cancer Surgery: trust me, I’m a doctor
The processes of “shared-decision-making” and “informed consent” promoted by urologists as a way to allow men to fully understand their particular prostate cancer are nothing more than sophisticated trickery to foster the culture for surgery.
In this exercise of having you “understand” the risks and benefits of robotic prostatectomy urologists have become very slick at employing the shock-value of a mostly fake cancer label on vulnerable, medically illiterate men and, holding them psychologically to ransom. A very deceptive and underhanded skill which has been polished even further by the use of catchy but misleading terms such as “minimally invasive, high-tech treatment”; quoting clinical studies skewed with self-serving definitions of treatment success (e.g. you are considered dry if you only use 1-2 pads per day) and, brazen lies about surgery being best for younger men or, those with high-risk cancer. Furthermore, making shared decision-making and informed consent even more malevolent is the concern that they are likely poisoned by financial conflicts-of-interest. From the inherent bias of physicians offering patients their particular expertise to garner a fee-for-service; to most physicians being corporate owned now and having to produce (by undertaking unnecessary evaluations and unneeded treatments); to rewards for involvement in clinical trials; to stipends for acting as company consultants (despite the empty disclaimers); to ownership in various entities such as laboratories, radiation centers, equipment/device partnerships and, outpatient surgery centers, the processes of shared-decision-making and informed consent are nothing more than a pretense.
In fact, most if not all health information today is highly suspect because of rampant financial sponsorship by medical manufacturers pushing their products. As a kick-back by physicians for this “sponsorship”, most if not all health advice is twisted to exploit misconceptions, doubts and concerns and, influence consumer-patient decision-making towards corporate benefit. Indeed, all the players in the healthcare arena have now mastered this art of siphoning off precious healthcare dollars at patient expense.
Prostate Cancer Surgery: bad doctors selling bad surgery
Patients have a right to expect knowledgeable and trustworthy medical management and, for physicians to keep them from harm and injustice (Hippocrates). Yet, despite this most fundamental of healthcare principles, the history of medicine is full of examples of worthless and harmful treatments. Even today, some 50% of all treatments offered in the U.S. lack evidence-based scientific support for their use and or, come with results that are not reproducible. Many of these so-called standard-of-care treatments have only become legitimized through the foggy processes of physician herd mentality, consensus medicine and, institutional authority because, egos and profit trump patient benefit.
Most everything about the prostate cancer narrative is either dishonest or a self-serving distortion. Even more deplorable however, is the corrupt and illegitimate portrayal of robotic prostate cancer surgery as a standard-of-care treatment when it lacks evidence-based scientific support. As well as a damning indictment against medical guidelines, this dangerously ill-conceived medical procedure commonly causes injury and, saves few if any lives. Shamefully, despite safer alternative treatments being readily available, this toxic surgery has defied reason for many years and led only to enormous suffering and a public health disaster. Sadly, the exploitation of false hope and putting patients at risk by prescribing a defective treatment is nothing more than licensed medical malpractice.
Sufferers From Robotic Prostate Cancer Surgery
See also the MAUDE (manufacturer and user facility device experience) sites:
Google: robotic prostate cancer surgery lawsuits and, see over 37,000 results
Horan, A., The Big Scare. The Business of Prostate Cancer
Ablin, R. and Piana, R., The Great Prostate Hoax
Joe Busch MD, prostate MRI specialist, Chattanooga, Tennessee (personal communication)
Bert Vorstman MD, MS, FAAP, FRACS, FACS