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.
For prostate cancer that is considered to be very low risk, or low risk and occasionally intermediate risk, your urologist may discuss active surveillance with you. Some prostate cancers may not harm a patient over the course of their lifetime and treatment plans for prostate cancer often take an individualized approach.
If definitive treatment of prostate cancer is chosen, 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:
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 considered 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.
- HIFU and Focal Therapy: involves the zonal destruction of a dominant lesion within the prostate with the intention of minimizing side effects associated with treatment. This is offered as an alternative treatment and prospective randomized trials are lacking at this time.
- Hormone therapy: Medication or surgery to inhibit the production of testosterone and therefore slow the growth of prostate cancer.
For more information on the diagnosis of prostate cancer and the treatment options available visit the American Cancer Society's Web site.
Education and Support Resources on Prostate Cancer
Urology Clinics of North Texas Web site at www.urologyclinics.com
PROSTATE CANCER TREATMENT GUIDELINES FOR PATIENTS: The National Comprehensive Cancer Network and the American Cancer Society have published guidelines for the treatment of prostate cancer. These guidelines are available at American Cancer Society website.
Prostate Cancer Foundation
US TOO International, Inc. support group
National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute Web site at
Foundations supporting prostate cancer research
American Foundation for Urologic Disease
Foundation for Urology Research and Education, Pat Fulgham, M.D., Director, 214-345-5030
An organization called US TOO International sponsors support groups for men with the diagnosis of prostate cancer. The organization has support groups throughout the country. Most of the support groups meet monthly. Dallas area support groups:
Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas: 214-345-5030
Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas: 214.820.2608
To find out more about this organization, go to the US TOO Web site