Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer

SETTING GOALS

Treatment plans may be a little different for each patient. You and your doctor should discuss and develop a prostate cancer treatment plan that’s right for you.8 Treatment plans cover a wide range of needs and may include:

  • Setting realistic goals
  • Determining the therapy that may be needed (if any) to treat your prostate cancer, depending on the type and stage of your cancer
  • Considering any physical and emotional side effects you may have from your treatment
  • Helping you to minimize any possible side effects

Treatment usually begins shortly after diagnosis (several weeks). In certain cases, you may meet with several healthcare professionals who will explain all of your treatment options to you. Include your significant other when making the final decision about your treatment options.13

These tips may help you understand all your treatment options, as well as help you decide which treatment may be best for you13:

  • Make your decision based on your needs, not the needs of others.
  • Ask advice from several healthcare professionals.
  • Communicate openly with your spouse or partner.
  • Know who will be your primary prostate cancer doctor (if you are seeing more than one doctor). You should have one healthcare professional coordinating your care.

DETERMINING YOUR TREATMENT

Your treatment options will be determined by your age, stage of your disease, and your doctor’s recommendation. Five major treatment options are currently available for prostate cancer8:

  • Watchful waiting/active surveillance
  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Chemotherapy

The following chart shows possible treatment options for each cancer stage. Your doctor may suggest combining some of these therapies to create a treatment plan that is best for you. Do not hesitate to ask questions. Talk with your doctor about any concerns you may have about all of your treatment options. Your doctor can explain why a treatment that is right for another patient may not be right for you.

Stage14 Possible Treatment Options11

T1

  • Watchful waiting/active surveillance
  • Brachytherapy to eradicate cancer cells
  • External-beam radiation therapy to eradicate cancer cells
  • Radical prostatectomy to remove prostate

T2

  • Watchful waiting/active surveillance
  • Brachytherapy to eradicate cancer cells
  • External-beam radiation to eradicate cancer cells (with or without hormone therapy)
  • Radical prostatectomy (with or without pelvic lymph node removal)

T3-
T4

  • External-beam radiation to eradicate cancer cells (with or without hormone therapy)
  • Radical prostatectomy (with pelvic lymph node removal if possible)
  • Hormone therapy such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist or antagonist therapy or orchiectomy to suppress testosterone

N0-
M1

  • Hormone therapy alone to suppress testosterone
  • Radiation therapy to eradicate cancer cells (with hormone therapy)