If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, your treatment options are dependent on whether or not the cancer is localised and contained within the prostate, has become locally advanced and spread just outside the prostate or has become advanced and spread to other areas of the body.
In some cases, you will be given a choice of treatment options, which a specialist nurse or doctor will explain to you and help you choose the right treatment options for you.
When it comes to your treatment options, your final choice is usually dependent on a several things, including:
- How quickly your prostate cancer is growing
- What stage your cancer is
- The advantages and disadvantages of your treatment options
- What each type of treatment entails
- The potential side effects of the treatment options available
- Your overall health and wellbeing
Localised prostate cancer treatment options
Localised prostate cancer typically grows slowly and may not require treatment. In some cases, your cancer can be monitored with regular check-ups. If you do decide to have cancer treatment, then this will aim to completely get rid of the cancer. Both watchful waiting and active surveillance can be used to monitor the growth of localised prostate cancer.
The main treatment options for localised prostate cancer include:
- External beam radiotherapy
- Surgery or laparoscopic prostatectomy
In some cases, you may also be offered cryotherapy treatment, however, this is less common.
Locally advanced prostate cancer treatment options
This cancer stage refers to cancer that has started to spread outside of the prostate. The main treatment options for this cancer stage include:
- Hormone therapy
- A combination of hormone therapy and external beam radiotherapy
- Surgery, followed by radiotherapy and hormone therapy
- Watchful waiting
Choosing a treatment option
Your treatment options will be highly dependent on how far your cancer has spread. If you do have a number of treatment options to consider your doctor will be able to talk you through the treatment options and help you choose the right treatment for you.
Advanced prostate cancer treatment options
This cancer stage refers to prostate cancer that has spread from the prostate to other parts of the body. If you have advanced prostate cancer, treatment will be unable to cure your cancer. However, it will be able to keep the cancer under control and help manage any symptoms.
If you are diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, the following treatment options may be available:
- Clinical trials
- Hormone therapy
Top questions to ask your doctor
Before your next appointment, you may find it useful to make a note of any questions you have for your doctor relating to your treatment options. You may find it useful to ask some of these questions:
- How effective will your chosen treatment be?
- How quickly do you need to choose a treatment option?
- What treatments are available to me?
- Is the aim to completely get rid of my cancer or just keep it under control?