Prostate cancer can grow slowly. It is possible that treatment can be delayed or that treatment may not be needed. In these cases, options include active surveillance and watchful waiting. In both, you and your doctor will monitor for new symptoms, changes in symptoms, or signs of disease progression.
When needed, the goal of treatment is to remove as much of the cancer as possible, while preserving urinary and sexual function. Additional treatment may help to prevent the spread or recurrence of cancer. The treatment plan will often include a combination of approaches based on the characteristics of the cancer, patient's age, general health, and prognosis. Comfort measures can be provided if prostate cancer is in advanced stages.
The healthcare team will be made up of a variety of health professionals including doctors, surgeons, nurses, and pharmacists. It is important to maintain contact with your medical team, adhere to recommended treatment, and go to any recommended appointments for the best outcomes possible.
Prostate cancer treatment includes:
Existing treatment protocols have been established and continue to be modified through clinical trials. These research studies are essential to determine whether or not new treatments are both safe and effective. Since highly effective treatments for many cancers remain unknown, numerous clinical trials are always underway around the world. You may wish to ask your doctor about participating in a clinical trial. You can find out about clinical trials at the US National Institutes of Health website.
How is prostate cancer treated? Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/prostate-cancer/treatment. Accessed April 13, 2017.
Prostate cancer. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114483/Prostate-cancer. Updated February 18, 2017. Accessed April 13, 2017.
Prostate cancer. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/genitourinary-cancer/prostate-cancer. Updated November 2013. Accessed April 13, 2017.
Treating prostate cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/treating.html. Accessed April 13, 2017.
Treatment option overview. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/prostate/patient/prostate-treatment-pdq. Updated July 7, 2016. Accessed April 13, 2017.
Last reviewed September 2016 by Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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