Do you know what type of surgery he's going to have? There are many ways of treating prostate cancer. Most prostate cancers are detected incidentally, during other type of exams (usually a digital rectal exam) or by an elevated PSA blood test. Usually, once prostate cancer is suspected, the doctor will schedule a prostate biopsy. This is done in the O.R. with an ultrasound guided needle. Anywhere from 12 to 24 fine guage needle aspirations are done throughout the prostate gland. The number of biopsies that come back positive give the doctor the Gleason scale, and tell the doctor what type of cancer cell is there and how invasive the cancer is.
Here's some very informative links about prostate cancer screening, as well as what the Gleason scale numbers mean:http://www.henryfordhealth.org/body....1159#screeninghttp://www.henryfordhealth.org/17800.cfm
There are many different ways to treat prostate cancer.http://www.henryfordhealth.org/body.cfm?id=39166
Depending on the type of cancer cells that are found, some doctors will just do screening, and watch the PSA for elevations.
Surgery for prostate cancer is called a Radical Prostatectomy, and includes taking out the pelvic lymph nodes to make sure that there's been no spread. This can be done either laparoscopically or an open procedure.
Radiation therapy can be done by either external beam or Brachytherapy. External beam therapy is done on an outpatient basis and x-rays are directed at the tumor to make it shrink. Brachytherapy involves a surgical procedure that implants tiny radioactive seeds, the size of a grain of rice, into the prostate gland to shrink it.
Hormone therapy can involve orchiectomy (removal of the testicles) or injections of anti-androgen agents, lutinizing agents or androgen suppression agents.
Chemotherapy isn't usally very effective for prostate cancer that is still inside the prostate gland. It is used when the prostate cancer has spread (metastasized.)
I'm sure this has been way too much information. That being said, most prostate cancers in older men are very slow growing and fairly easy to treat.
I will certainly keep your grandpa in my prayers!