Harvard Perspectives on Prostate Disease

Ask the doctor

This quarter, urologist William C. DeWolf, M.D., a member of Perspectives' editorial board, answers your questions about prostate health

Q. How old is too old to have a radical prostatectomy?

A. For surgery to make sense — that is, for the benefits to outweigh the risks — you need to be young enough to take advantage of the added survival time that surgery can offer. That's why I generally don't recommend this surgery for a man whose life expectancy is less than 10 years, or for a man who is older than 75, depending on his personal and family health history.

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