Various treatment options for prostate cancer

Medically Reviewed by Dr Sravya, MBBS, MS 


What is prostate cancer?

When a prostate tumor develops as a result of aberrant cell development, it is called prostate cancer. The prostate is a gland that sits next to the bladder and encircles the urethra. It is situated in a man’s lower abdomen and has the shape of a walnut. Its primary job is to make seminal fluid.Prostate cancer treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, or active surveillance, determined by the cancer’s stage and patient’s health.

Prostate cancer arises whenever cells in the prostate gland start to grow out of control. Men alone      possess the prostate gland. It produces a portion of the fluid that is found in semen.

The prostate is located in front of the rectum, the last segment of the intestines, and beneath the bladder, the hollow organ where pee is stored. Most of the fluid for semen is produced by seminal vesicles, a collection of glands located directly behind the prostate. The center of the prostate is where the urethra, the tube that transports urine and sperm to the outside world through the penis, passes through.  

Prostate cancer treatment

As a man matures, his prostate’s size may alter. It is roughly about the dimensions of a walnut in younger men, but it can get significantly larger in older men.

Most prostate cancers are discovered in their early stages when they are growing gradually. Thus, choosing a course of therapy usually does not require a rush. During this time, it’s crucial to discuss with your doctor the advantages and disadvantages of every possible course of therapy, as well as when it should start. The situation of today’s cancer is included in this conversation:

There are some broad steps for the treatment of prostate cancer by stage, and your physician’s treatments will depend on these variables.

Below is a description of some of the typical prostate cancer treatments. Your care plan can also incorporate the critical cancer care practice of treating symptoms and side effects of prostate cancer.

Table of Contents

Prostate cancer types

Aggressive and non-aggressive prostate cancers are the two kinds of the disease.

Prostate cancer symptoms and causes

Symptoms of prostate cancer:

The following are a few of the most typical prostate cancer symptoms.

These are the several symptoms of prostate cancer.

Causes of prostate cancer:

Prostatecancer’s precise origin has not yet been identified with certainty. According to medical professionals, several things can cause prostate cancer. Male prostate cancer is brought on by the proliferation of malignant cells brought on by DNA abnormalities. The aberrant growth patterns
of the cancer cells are caused by DNA mutations. Until a tumor develops in the prostate gland, these cells continue to divide more quickly than your regular cells do. One thing to keep in mind is that these aberrant cells have a longer lifespan and can travel to other body parts when they

Do you have a prostate cancer risk?

Screening and diagnosis of prostate cancer

Diagnosis of prostate cancer

Given that the early stages of prostate cancer do not usually present with many symptoms, it is crucial to undergo regular preventative screenings. You may wish to discuss prostate cancer screening with your doctor when you visit for your annual physical.Doctors advise having a
prostate cancer screening if you are over 40, especially if someone close to you has the disease.

Doctors advise getting screened for prostate cancer if you are 45, African American, and have a close relative who acquired the disease before age 65 since you have a significant statistical risk.

Several tests are employed for prostate cancer screening and diagnosis.

A grade is assigned if the pathologist can locate cancer cells. This ranking explains the abnormalities of the cancer cells as well as their propensity to spread quickly. The Gleason score is the name of this rating. Your risk of developing prostate cancer is low if your score is less than
six. If the score is higher than that, your doctor will use your score and PSA level to study the cells.

Prostate cancer treatment

Prostatecancer in its early stages is cancer that has spread within the prostate but has not yet spread to the lymph nodes or bones. A very high chance of survival exists for men with early- stage prostate cancer. There are numerous therapy possibilities.

Your care strategy will take into account:

Consider your variety of prostate cancer treatment options after being diagnosed with the disease. Learn about the adverse effects of each medication as well as the chances of survival that each one offers. Be mindful of how treatment side effects will alter your life both right now and in years to come. If you can, seek a second or third opinion from a prostate cancer expert. By speaking with a radiation oncologist and a urologist, you can make an informed decision.

Find out about the training and reputation of the doctors who are willing to treat you. An experienced physician with a solid reputation will likely provide the finest care for you, especially if the course of therapy you select could result in side effects like bowel or urine incontinence. Learn about the programs your doctor offered to help with the after-treatment adverse effects. Discuss the experiences of other survivors.

If you choose a course of prostate cancer treatment, stay or get healthy during the interim. By your doctor’s advice, maintain a healthy weight, engage in regular exercise, abstain from smoking, and limit your alcohol consumption. You might be able to fight prostate cancer with this. There are several different sorts of therapies available if you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The optimal course of prostate cancer treatment for you will depend on your age, cancer stage, and general health.

If you are told that you have localized, early-stage prostate cancer, the following treatments might be worth discussing with your doctor. The usual methods of treating prostate cancer are as follows.

Active monitoring

Typically, older men who have medical issues but do not exhibit prostate cancer signs receive this form of treatment. It is for those whose screening test results indicate they may have prostate cancer. You will be closely observed during this sort of treatment until symptoms of prostate
cancer arise. Afterward, you receive treatment for the symptoms you display. You must undergo several tests and examinations so that your doctor can determine if the cancer is spreading or not.

If you have a malignancy that is tiny and slow-growing, active surveillance is preferable. Your doctor will request testing from you every few months to monitor your prostate cancer. A biopsy, an MRI, and a blood test to monitor your PSA are typically helpful tests. The majority of the
time, men under active supervision can prevent gastrointestinal, sexual, and urinary side effects.

Consider continuous monitoring as a medical intervention that aims to prolong the quality of your life as much as possible.

Some guys never require further medical care. It’s time to discuss additional treatment options, such as surgery or radiation therapy, if the PSA increases and a biopsy reveals that the cancer is spreading. ‘Definitive therapy’ is the term used to describe this type of treatment.

Attentive waiting

Tracking the malignancy while not treating it is possible with watchful waiting. It excludes routine biopsies, PSA tests, and other forms of active surveillance. The danger of cautious waiting is that the cancer can advance and spread in the interim between checkups. With elderly men with beginning prostate cancer who are more likely to pass away from other causes, watchful waiting is sometimes the best course of action. It is also for males whose other medical conditions would make it challenging for them to undergo radiation or surgery.

Radiation therapy and surgery are the two main therapies for early-stage prostate cancer. These therapies aim to permanently eradicate the malignancy. They both treat cancer with roughly the same degree of success. Choosing the right course of treatment for you can be discussed with
your doctor.


Prostate cancer surgery is one of the therapy alternatives if you are healthy and your doctor discovers a tumor in your prostate. Different forms of surgery exist. One such procedure is a radical prostatectomy, which combines the perineal and retropubic prostatectomy forms of prostate surgery. The Pelvic lymphadenectomy, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), and nerve-sparing surgery are further surgical procedures.

Prostate surgery carries several dangers and problems, including impotence and incontinence. In a radical prostatectomy, the prostate, seminal vesicles, and surrounding tissue are surgically removed. The pelvic lymph nodes that flow through the prostate are frequently also removed.
Anesthesia is required for this treatment, and the hospital stay is brief.

Surgery for a radical prostatectomy comes in four different forms:

Your surgeon will go over the final pathological report with you after the procedure. According to all the cancer that was present in your prostate, the pathologist’s report will provide you with your final Gleason Score.

As with any operation, there is a chance of bleeding, infection, and short-term pain. Erectile dysfunction (ED) and urinary incontinence (loss of urine control) are the main adverse consequences of this operation. Within a few months, the majority of men regain bladder control.

Erections can sometimes return for certain men, but not always. Your surgeon may recommend another specialist who can assist you in managing these side effects.

Radiation treatment

Radiation is used in this sort of treatment to kill cancer cells and stop them from proliferating. Radiation therapy comes in three varieties. They are radiopharmaceutical therapy, internal radiation therapy, and external radiation therapy. Men who receive radiation therapy may struggle with a variety of issues, including impotence and urinary issues. The prostate cancer stage, among other things, affects how the therapy is administered.

In radiation therapy, powerful radiation is used to destroy cancer cells.

For both, anesthesia and a brief hospital stay are required.

Urinary incontinence, gastrointestinal issues, and ED are typical radiation side effects. For most guys, bowel and urinary issues improve. Over two or more years, erections gradually soften. Your physician will go over these adverse reactions with you and offer management advice.
Consult your doctor to learn more about the impact of various radiation treatment options on your erectile function. Some therapies have a lower risk of causing ED. To reduce the prostate before beginning treatment, radiation therapy and hormone therapy may occasionally be combined. Or, to increase the effectiveness of the radiation, hormone therapy may be coupled with external beam therapy. Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) is the term for hormone therapy.

ADT combats prostate cancer by reducing the body’s testosterone levels. Loss of testosterone aids in the battle against cancer but has serious side effects that can include libido loss, erectile dysfunction, hot flashes, changes in body fat, and emotional disturbances. There can also be
further physical changes. It is recommended to talk to your doctor about this.

Hormone treatment

Hormones are produced by glands and are found in the bloodstream. To prevent the cancer cells from proliferating and spreading further, hormone therapy involves either suppressing the action of hormones or removing them from the body. The use of estrogens, abiraterone acetate, antiandrogens, agonists of the luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone, orchiectomy, and medications are all examples of hormone therapy. Hormone therapy has several adverse effects, including nausea, hot flashes, itching, and weak bones.

Bisphosphonate medication

Drugs containing bisphosphonates are administered during this sort of therapy. Among them is zoledronate. When prostate cancer has gone to your bones, you will receive this treatment. Men who undergo procedures like orchiectomy or antiandrogen therapy have a significant risk of
bone loss. In these situations, bisphosphonate treatment is used to reduce the risk of breaking bones. These medications can be used to stop cancer from spreading to the bones, but this is still under investigation.


Drugs are used in this sort of treatment to either kill or inhibit the growth of cancer cells. These medications are administered to you either orally or intravenously so they can go into your bloodstream. Systemic chemotherapy is the name given to this kind of treatment. Regional chemotherapy is another sort of chemotherapy in which the medications exclusively target the designated regions. Depending on the characteristics of your cancer, your doctor will decide what kind of chemotherapy is required.

Biologic treatment

Sipuleucel-T is a prime example of a biological treatment. This is applied to the treatment of prostate cancer that spreads to numerous bodily parts. Utilizing your immune system to treat prostate cancer is known as biologic therapy. Your body is ready to utilize its anti-cancer
defenses throughout this form of treatment. To accomplish this, chemicals produced by your body or in laboratories are used.

These are the many prostate cancer treatment options available.

Authorized factors

After therapy is over, you might need to deal with after-effects. Together with your doctor, you will create a long-term strategy for additional testing. These tests ensure that you continue to be cancer-free.


There is no definite or established method to ward off prostate cancer. However, by making healthy decisions like maintaining a healthy diet and a regular exercise schedule, you can lower your risk of developing prostate cancer. Men who are in danger of acquiring prostate cancer are advised by doctors to make decisions about their lives that will improve their health. You should discuss preventative methods with your doctor if you have a high risk of getting prostate cancer so they can prescribe certain drugs and alternatives for risk reduction.