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Health Journey Support | Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the cells of the prostate. This brochure will help you understand the common prostate cancer treatment options available.

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Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer

You or someone you care about may have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. This video will help you understand some of the main treatment options available.

What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that forms in a man's prostate gland.

Most prostate tumors grow slowly compared to other types of cancer.

Treatment Options Prostate Cancer Br

Factors Affecting Treatment Options

You and your doctor will decide your treatment based on several factors. These factors include:

  • Grade and stage of your cancer
  • Your health and medical history
  • Your age

There may be other factors that are important to you and your family.

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Treatment Options

The main treatments for prostate cancer include: active surveillance, surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and immunotherapy.

Active Surveillance

Active surveillance means frequent doctor visits to closely monitor any growth or changes in your prostate. During these visits, your doctor will feel your prostate by inserting a gloved finger into your rectum. This is called a digital rectal exam. In addition, a blood test will be done to check the level of a substance in your blood, called PSA. Men with prostate cancer often have a higher PSA blood level.

Treatment Options Prostate Cancer Br

Sometimes, active surveillance means your doctor will take a biopsy of your prostate. During a biopsy, your doctor will remove prostate tissue samples through the rectum with a needle.

Treatment Options Prostate Cancer Br

Surgery

You may need to have surgery, called a prostatectomy, to remove your prostate gland.

Treatment Options Prostate Cancer Br

Radiation Therapy

Another treatment, called radiation therapy, uses radiation to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells.

Treatment Options Prostate Cancer Br

External beam radiation, uses a machine to aim radiation from outside your body to the tumor.

Treatment Options Prostate Cancer Br

Internal radiation, uses pieces of radioactive material placed within the prostate.

Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy is another treatment for prostate cancer. It affects certain substances made by your body, called hormones. Prostate cancer needs these hormones to grow. Hormone therapy drugs can slow cancer's growth in two ways:

  • Drugs can block the action of the one or more hormones on your prostate
  • Drugs can block or reduce the amount of hormones made by your body
Treatment Options Prostate Cancer Br

Immuno-Oncology

Immuno-oncology, also known as immunotherapy, helps your immune system fight cancer.

Treatment Options Prostate Cancer Br

For example, one treatment uses certain immune cells taken from your body. These cells are grown in the lab and given a vaccine that makes them more active. Then, the activated immune cells are returned to your body to help attack cancer cells.

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Other Treatments

Your doctor may recommend other treatments than the ones described here.

Treatment Options Prostate Cancer Br
Treatment Options Prostate Cancer Br
  • Talk to your doctor if you have questions about your prescribed medication, or have any side effects
  • Be sure to take your medications as directed by your doctor

The information in this handout has been created and peer reviewed by graduate-level medical illustrators, followed by reviews from medical subject experts, either physicians or PhDs on the Nucleus Medical Review Board, to ensure medical accuracy and audience level appropriateness.

The handout is intended to supplement the information you receive from your healthcare provider and should never be considered personal medical advice. Always contact your healthcare provider with health questions and concerns.