How is prostate cancer treated?

surgeon

Active surveillance
You don’t start treatment straight away, so you can avoid possible side-effects from treatment like urinary and sexual problems. Instead you have regular tests like blood tests, MRIs and biopsies to spot any activity in your cancer. 

You can start treatment to cure your cancer as soon as you need it, but you may not need treatment for many years. 

This is a treatment option for low-risk prostate cancer, which can be very slow growing and often does not cause symptoms or problems. Active surveillance is not suitable for locally advanced prostate cancer. Read more about active surveillance.

Surgery (radical prostatectomy)
Removing your entire prostate gland. You may have radiotherapy as well. Read more about prostate cancer surgery

External beam radiotherapy
Using high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. You may have radiotherapy together with hormone therapy. Read more about radiotherapy.

Hormone therapy
Tablets or injections to reduce the amount of the hormone testosterone in your body. This can help to slow down or stop the growth of cancer cells. You may have radiotherapy too.  Read more about hormone therapy.

Watchful waiting
An option for men with health issues that make other treatments unsuitable. You will have PSA tests and sometimes DRE tests. If your PSA level rises or you get symptoms you will be referred back to your cancer specialist. If there are no signs of the cancer growing it’s safe to continue with watchful waiting.

Brachytherapy (internal radiotherapy)
Putting radioactive seeds into your prostate to kill cancer cells. Read more about brachytherapy.

Choosing a treatment

You might have a choice of treatments that are all equally good. If your doctor asks you to decide which one you want, you might feel a bit worried about making the right choice. 

There is no right or wrong treatment, so it’s up to you to decide which treatment suits you and your lifestyle the best.

We have some information, tips and tools if you need help with making a treatment decision. 

For more information

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