TUESDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Surgery to remove the prostate gland (radical prostatectomy) led to a 20-year survival rate for 80 percent of patients with advanced prostate cancer, a new study finds.

The study included patients with cancer that had spread beyond the prostate, known as cT3 prostate cancer, and underwent radical prostatectomy between 1987 and 1997.

The 80 percent survival rate in these patients compares to a 90 percent survival rate at 20 years for patients with cancer confined to the prostate (cT2 prostate cancer), the Mayo Clinic researchers said.

Previously, patients with cT3 prostate cancer were offered radiation or hormone treatment, but not radical prostatectomy, the study authors noted in a Mayo news release.

"We are doing a much better job of identifying and expanding candidates for surgery, which results in better, longer outcomes for so many of our patients," Dr. R. Jeffrey Karnes, of the department of urology, said in the news release.

The study was slated for presentation May 15 at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association, in Washington, D.C. Research presented at meetings is considered preliminary until it is published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about prostate cancer.