There are many treatment choices and learning about the options for your prostate cancer will help you make the right decision for you. You can live a full life with and after prostate cancer. Become informed.
- Ask questions
- Do your own research
- Seek a second opinion
- Find out how different treatments can affect your life
- This is your life, make the choice that is right for you
Most likely treatment will begin shortly after diagnosis. You have time to gather facts and information. The stage and grade of your tumor will impact what treatment options are available to you. Every treatment has pros and cons. Learn about the different treatment options here as you make your decision.
Several studies and news articles have recently been published to suggest changes in the treatment of prostate cancer. Click here to read about Dr. Mary Ellen Taplin’s discussion of new treatments, biomarkers, and guidelines that defined the care of prostate cancer patients in 2014.
Visit our advanced prostate cancer section to learn more.
For men deciding between surgery and radiation for prostate cancer treatment, click here to read an article in U.S. News & World Report that may help you weigh the pros and cons of each option.
To read an in-depth, patient-focused guide of making treatment decisions for prostate cancer, click here for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s guidelines. [Linked with permission from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc. © 2015 All rights reserved. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients® and illustrations therein may not be reproduced in any form for any purpose without the express written permission of the NCCN. To view the most recent and complete version o the NCCN Guidelines for Patients®, go online to NCCN.org.]
In addition, there are new tests that can be performed with a biopsy that help determine the aggressiveness of your cancer, which can influence treatment decisions. Learn more about those tests here. Genomic testing can also help you and your doctor learn more about how your cancer might behave. By looking at the genetic makeup of the cancer, these tests may help predict whether your prostate cancer grows slowly or aggressively, therefore influencing treatment decisions.
- With active surveillance and watchful waiting, the doctor monitors your cancer through regular tests to watch for signs that the cancer may be changing, growing or spreading. This is usually an option for men with a low Gleason score, early stage and non-aggressive cancer.
- A prostatectomy is the removal of the prostate gland by surgery. The goal is to remove all of the cancer from your body. There are several types of prostatectomy.
- Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to target the prostate and any surrounding areas with cancer or at risk of cancer.
- Cryotherapy for prostate cancer freezes prostate tissue, causing cancer cells to die. This type of treatment is sometimes used as an alternative to surgical removal of the prostate gland.
- Prostate cancer is fueled by male hormones, which are called androgens. The primary male androgen is testosterone. Hormone therapy, also called androgen deprivation therapy, or ADT, stops your body from making testosterone to stop or shrink the tumor.
- In addition, if a patient has undergone hormone therapy to treat his prostate cancer, his doctor can perform a testosterone test to monitor this hormone as way of helping to determine if treatment is effective.
- Immunotherapy uses a man’s own immune cells to attack advanced prostate cancer. The cells are taken from the man with prostate cancer, activated to fight and returned to the man.
- Chemotherapy is the use of intravenous or oral drugs to kill cancer cells and prevent them from multiplying. Chemotherapy is stops new cancer cells from being made.
- High Intensity Focused Ultrasound is a treatment currently in testing. It destroys the cancer by using sound waves on the prostate tumor.
- There are several treatment options available to men who have cancer that has moved beyond the prostate to the lymph nodes, other organs or the bones.