Prostate Cancer Treatments

When it comes to choosing a treatment for prostate cancer, each patient's situation is unique. That's why it is important to make an informed decision about the best treatment with your healthcare team.

Older patients with health problems and those with slow-growing cancers often treat prostate cancer as a chronic or long-term disease and take a disease management approach with just watchful waiting. Sometimes combinations of therapies like radiation therapy following surgery, or external radiation following brachytherapy implants is the best way to go.

Surgical options:

Radiation therapy options:

Learn more about radiation therapy treatments and services.

Hormone therapy (also called androgen deprivation therapy) may be used if surgery or radiation is not an option. Chemotherapy is sometimes considered if prostate cancer has spread outside the prostate gland and hormone therapy is no longer effective.

Robotic Prostatectomy

Robotic prostatectomy is the latest minimally invasive surgical option for prostate cancer. Robotic prostatectomy includes complete removal of the prostate, lymph nodes (if necessary), and reconstruction. Robotic prostatectomy requires five to six small (1/4 inch) muscle-splitting incisions. Patients are less likely to need a blood transfusion, often require less pain medication, and are usually discharged one to two days after surgery.

Radical Perineal Prostatectomy (Brachytherapy)

Brachytherapy, also referred to as seed implantation, is a type of internal radiation therapy used to treat prostate cancer. The radioactive material or source is placed directly inside the prostate.The exact dose of radiation is determined so that the cancer cells get enough radiation, but the surrounding normal tissue does not. Brachytherapy may be used alone to treat low risk prostate cancer, or in combination with external radiation for intermediate or high risk prostate cancer.

External Beam Radiation

Radiation therapy is one of several methods used to treat cancer. The radiation comes from beams of high-energy waves or from streams of radioactive particles. Using specialized equipment and materials, radiation from these beams and particles targets cancer cells in order to kill them or stop their growth and spread. Normal cells are also affected by radiation so to protect them the amount of radiation that is given is limited over time. Normal tissue cells are shielded as much as possible during the treatment. The rectum, which is just behind the prostate, is the structure that limits the total dose of local prostate radiation that can be delivered over one's lifetime.

Adjuvant Hormonal Therapy

Hormone therapy is used to treat prostate cancer by reducing the levels of male hormones, known as androgens, in the body. Most prostate cancers need testosterone, one of the primary male hormones, to grow. By lowering androgen levels, doctors can often shrink prostate prostate cancer; but it can shrink a tumor's size.

In addition to delivering the highest quality medical care, we recognize the importance of the psychological and emotional aspects of living with a cancer diagnosis and of dealing with treatment. Our supportive oncology team addresses these issues in a timely manner with additional support from counselors, nurse navigators, dietitians and social service professionals.