In general, for most cases of newly diagnosed localized or locally advanced prostate cancers, the chance of “cure” is equal whether you have radiation therapy or surgery.

Data from ProtecT for low and intermediate risk prostate cancer patients showing risk of dying from prostate cancer is the same with either surgery or radiation therapy:

 

Data from ProtecT for high risk prostate cancer showing risk of dying from prostate cancer is the same with either surgery or radiation therapy:

Putting it simply, if there were a treatment with a better chance of cure, that would be what every national guideline would recommend and we would never recommend you meet the other specialty.  Some cancers are treated with radiation without surgery, some cancers are treated with surgery without radiation, some cancers are treated with both, and some cancers are treated with neither.

The main difference between surgery and radiation therapy relates to quality of life and side effects.  Every patient has different priorities in regards to what aspects of quality of life means most to them.  So before we discuss the various treatments in detail, let’s make sure your understand common treatment related changes that occur with surgery, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy.