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UPMC Physician Reaches Rare Milestone with 3000th Prostate Surgery

 
PITTSBURGH, May 1, 2014Joel B. Nelson, M.D., chair of the Department of Urology at UPMC, has performed 3,000 radical prostatectomies since coming to Pittsburgh in 1999. He joins only a handful of surgeons in the world to reach this milestone.
 
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men, after skin cancer, with several treatments available for the disease. But often men shy away from surgical treatment because they believe it will leave them incontinent and impotent. Nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy is one of the most effective treatments because the cancer can be removed without harming nerves that control erections.
 
“The nerve-sparing approach not only removes the cancer but lowers the risk of impotence and bladder control problems, providing a better quality of life for the patient,” said Dr. Nelson. “Our vast experience distinguishes us from other programs and that helps give patients peace of mind when they seek treatment.”  
 
Dr. Nelson has gained considerable recognition for both his clinical work and research. He has been featured in several publications due to the great strides he has made in the treatment of prostate cancer and is the recipient of multiple awards.
 
“We have seen remarkable results over the past decade. Currently, about 95 percent of patients undergo a bilateral nerve-sparing procedure with a prostate cancer-specific survival rate of 99.3 percent at five years and 98 percent at 10 years,” Dr. Nelson said.
 
Dr. Nelson also serves on the editorial boards for several scientific journals, including The Journal of Urology, and is an ad hoc reviewer for several other medical publications, including The New England Journal of Medicine.

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