Once the diagnosis of prostate cancer is made, the physician will review all treatment options available to the patient. Further studies to evaluate the extent or stage of disease may be necessary to assist in making a decision about treatment.
There are many different treatment options and combinations of treatments depending on the stage of disease and the age and health of the patient. Generally the treatments available for prostate cancer include the following:
Active surveillance, watchful waiting
Radical prostatectomy: The surgical removal of the prostate. The best cure rate for localized prostate cancer is with the use of radical prostatectomy. Prostate cancer is said to be localized when the cancer is confined to the prostate.
Radiation: This involves the application of an external beam of radiation directed to the prostate and the prostate bed.
Brachytherapy: Radioactive seed implantation. This procedure involves the insertion and removal of needles into the perineum to place radioactive seeds into the prostate. The seeds deliver a controlled and pre-determined amount of radiation to the prostate gland directly.
Cryotherapy: Cryotherapy involves the insertion of probes into the prostate and the introduction of liquid nitrogen to produce an ice ball within the prostate. This effectively destroys both prostate cancer and healthy prostatic tissue.
Hormone therapy: Medication or surgery to inhibit the production of testosterone and therefore slow the growth of prostate cancer.
Perineal prostatectomy: During this procedure, the prostate gland is removed through an incision in the area between the scrotum and the anus, known as the perineum.
For more information on the diagnosis of prostate cancer and the treatment options available visit the American Cancer Society's Web site.