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Experience counts in prostate surgery

July 30, 2007|From Times wire reports

Prostate cancer is less likely to relapse in men who are treated by more experienced surgeons, according to a new study.

Doctors who've performed more than 250 surgeries to remove a cancerous prostate were more successful, according to the study published online July 24 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. More than 7,700 men with the disease treated by 72 U.S. surgeons between 1987 and 2003 were included in the study.

Five years after a prostatectomy, about 18% of men under the care of an inexperienced surgeon (those with no more than 10 previous operations) were more likely to see signs that cancer had returned, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center researchers in New York said.

Among men treated by experienced surgeons, 10.7% relapsed, according to the study.

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