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Guidelines for the Macroscopic Processing of Radical Prostatectomy and Pelvic Lymphadenectomy Specimens
  1. Victoria Bennett (vixterbennett{at}
  1. John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, United Kingdom
    1. Murali Varma (murali.varma{at}
    1. University of Cardiff, United Kingdom
      1. David Bailey (david.bailey5{at}
      1. Wycombe Hospital, High Wycombe, United Kingdom


        Prostate cancer, with a prevalence of 9.6% and 679,000 new cases diagnosed in 2002, is the third most common cancer worldwide.1 In the UK, it is the most common male cancer, representing 23% of all new cancer diagnoses, and is a major source of morbidity and mortality, causing 10,000 deaths in 2005.2 Over the past two decades, the incidence of prostate cancer has risen, predominantly due to its more frequent diagnosis by a combination of serum prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing, digital rectal examination (DRE), and transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)-guided biopsy. In the UK, the five year survival rate has risen from 31% in the 1970s to 71% in 2001,2 a finding attributed to the earlier detection of tumours, many of which are indolent, as well as improvements in treatment. The treatment of these ‘screening detected’ cancers is controversial. With advancements in surgical techniques, which have reduced the risk of postoperative incontinence and impotence, radical prostatectomy (RP) is increasingly offered as the treatment of choice. Consequently, the number of RP specimens received by pathology departments continues to grow. This poses significant resource implications and highlights the importance of effective and efficient specimen processing, by which pathologists can derive the maximum available information on which to determine prognosis and base future management decisions for individual patients.

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