Treatments for Prostate Cancer


There are numerous treatments when addressing prostate cancer. Talk to your care team about which options are right for you.

Active surveillance: For low-grade cancers, patients may be advised to “watch and wait,” with further testing to see if the cancer progresses to the point where other treatments may need to be considered.

Radical prostatectomy: Removal of the prostate grand by surgery (manual or robotic). This therapy ensures that the cancer is removed, as long as it is confined to the prostate, but may have urinary or sexual performance side effects.

Radiation therapy: Targeted radiation kills the cancer cells. Tends to have fewer short-term side effects than prostatectomy; longer term side effects include possible rectal bleeding and diminished sexual performance.

Brachytherapy: Tiny radioactive particles the size of a grain of rice are implanted directly into the site of the tumor. Results and side effects are similar to external beam radiation therapy.

Hormone therapy and chemotherapy: If the cancer returns after the initial treatment (or metastasizes to other parts of the body), these treatments can be used to prolong life and target the cancer. Ongoing research is being conducted to discover new drugs and targeted therapies for metastasized prostate cancer, and for “castration resistant” cancer (cancer that no longer responds to hormone treatments). These treatments can also be used in conjunction with prostatectomy and radiation for more aggressive cancers.