What are the treatment options for prostate cancer?
The main treatment options for prostate cancer include surgery, hormonal therapy, radiation, chemotherapy, and cryoablation or cryotherapy. A particular patients treatment options will depend on several factors, including his age, the stage of his disease and the advice of his doctor. For more information, see the treatment of prostate cancer.
Deciding on treatment can be daunting, partly because the options for treatment today are far better than they were ten years ago, but also because not enough reliable data are available on which to base the decisions. Accordingly, scientifically controlled, long term studies are still needed to compare the benefits and risks of the various treatments. To decide on treatment for an individual patient, doctors categorize prostate cancers as organ-confined (localized to the gland), locally advanced (a large prostate tumor or one that has spread only locally), or metastatic (spread distantly or widely). The treatment options for organ-confined prostate cancer or locally advanced prostate cancer usually include surgery, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, cryotherapy, combinations of some of these treatments, and watchful waiting. A cure for metastatic prostate cancer is, unfortunately, unattainable at the present time. The treatments for metastatic prostate cancer, which include hormonal
The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) recommends that men consult with three kinds of prostate cancer specialists-a urologist, a radiation oncologist and a medical oncologist- to get the most comprehensive evaluation of available treatment options and expected outcomes in attacking the disease. Currently, the most popular treatment options include the following: active surveillance (watchful waiting), surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, cryotherapy (freezing the cancerous cells with argon gas or liquid nitrogen) and high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) which uses heat to destroy cancerous cells. Additionally, researchers are working on emerging therapies to treat prostate cancer. Some include using drugs that interfere with the way cancer cells grow and interact with each other, and using the immune system to battle cancerous cells. For more information about prostate cancer, visit the Prostate Cancer Foundation.