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Prostate cancer therapy options

In addition to surgery, other treatment options for prostate cancer include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormone therapy. 

In some individuals with localized prostate cancer, radiation may be used instead of surgery with the goal of curing cancer as both surgery and radiation are equally effective in ability to cure prostate cancer in this situation. Radiation treatment may be administered by placing small radioactive seeds within the prostate that kill cancer cells (brachytherapy) or may be administered by directing radiation energy from an outside source at the prostate (external beam radiation therapy). This treatment may also be used in combination with other treatments in more advanced cases and may be used in patients who have recurrence of cancer following surgery.

  • When might radiation therapy be used for prostate cancer?

    Radiation is most often used along with other prostate cancer treatments, like surgery or chemotherapy.

    Your doctor may advise radiation to:

    • Serve as the main treatment, sometimes along with hormone therapy.
    • Kill any remaining small areas of cancer following a surgery.
    • Treat a single area of cancer spread, such as a bone lesion.
    • Relieve symptoms such as paincaused by a spread of cancer.
  • Hormone therapy

    Hormonal therapy reduces androgen levels in the body or keeps androgens from reaching prostate cancer cells. Testosterone is the main male hormone and by blocking its action, hormone therapy may block the growth of prostate cancer cells. 

    Hormone therapy is often used short-term in combination with radiation treatment to increase cure rates of radiation and may be used in cases when the cancer has spread to slow the progression of disease. Hormone therapy may consist of medicines that block production of testosterone in the body or block the action of testosterone in the body.