There is no “one size fits all” treatment for prostate cancer. You should learn as much as possible about the many treatment options available and, in conjunction with your physicians, make a decision about what’s best for you. Because men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer today may live for many years, any decision made now will probably reverberate for a long time.

Your decision-making process will likely include a combination of clinical and psychological factors, including:

  • The need for therapy
  • Your level of risk
  • Your personal circumstances
  • Your desire for a certain therapy based on risks, benefits, and your intuition

Consultation with all three types of prostate cancer specialists—a urologist, a radiation oncologist, and a medical oncologist—will give you the most comprehensive assessment of the available treatments and expected outcomes. Many hospitals and universities have multidisciplinary prostate cancer clinics that can provide this three-part consultation service.

Treatment Options

 

Treatment Options for Localized Disease or Locally Advanced Disease

A man diagnosed with localized or locally advanced prostate cancer has three major treatment options: active surveillance, surgery, and radiation.  There are other nonstandard treatment options that patients may consider, which include cryotherapy, high-intensity focused ultrasound, and primary hormone therapy.  Choosing the best treatment for localized or locally advanced prostate cancer is generally based on the man’s age, the stage and grade of the cancer, the man’s general health, and the man’s evaluation of the risks and benefits of each therapy option.

 

Treatment Options for Advanced Disease

We typically refer to Advanced Disease as the state of prostate cancer that has grown beyond the prostate and is unlikely to be cured with surgery or radiation alone. After a man experiences PSA Progression after surgery or radiation, hormonal therapy is often given at some point, and often for many years. Some men will not require any therapy, however, if their PSA doubling time is quite prolonged. However, many men will continue to progress at some point despite the above hormonal treatments and require more aggressive therapy. This comes in the form of additional second and third-line hormonal therapies, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, bone-targeted agents, and investigational agents (many are in trials right now from new hormonal therapies to prostate cancer vaccines to bone-targeting drugs).

Important to Note

There is still some uncertainty about the exact right therapies for many men, and whether some even need immediate therapy. Clinical trials are being conducted to address these questions for future generations.

 FDA Approved Drugs

For a list of FDA drugs approved to treat prostate cancer, please see here.

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