Marking a Milestone in Prostate Cancer Treatment

Robert Hastings (left) and Dr. Patrick Walsh celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hastings' surgery. i i

hide captionRobert Hastings (left) and Dr. Patrick Walsh celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hastings' surgery.

Art Silverman, NPR
Robert Hastings (left) and Dr. Patrick Walsh celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hastings' surgery.

Robert Hastings (left) and Dr. Patrick Walsh celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hastings' surgery.

Art Silverman, NPR

Twenty-five years ago today, Dr. Patrick Walsh entered an operating room at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins Hospital and revolutionized the treatment for prostate cancer.

At the time, treatment options for prostate cancer were limited. Surgery could control the disease, but it also created major side-effects: extreme blood loss, no bladder control, and in all cases, impotence.

Walsh's surgical innovation was based on the suspicion that doctors had long had imperfect understanding of the complex anatomy surrounding the prostate. It turns out he was right.

On Wednesday, Johns Hopkins threw an anniversary party to honor the 69-year-old Walsh and his pioneering patient, Robert E. Hastings.

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