Treating Prostate Cancer

Treating Prostate Cancer

If you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer, your cancer care team will discuss your treatment options with you. It’s important to weigh the benefits of each treatment option against the possible risks and side effects.

Treating Prostate CancerHow is Prostate Cancer Treated?

Depending on each case, treatment options for men with prostate cancer might include:

Watchful Waiting or Active Surveillance for Prostate Cancer

Surgery for Prostate Cancer

Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer

Cryotherapy for Prostate Cancer

Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer

Chemotherapy for Prostate Cancer

Vaccine Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Preventing and Treating Prostate Cancer Spread to Bones

Common Treatment Approaches

Treatments for prostate cancer are generally used one at a time, although in some cases they may be combined.

Considering Prostate Cancer Treatment Options

Initial Treatment of Prostate Cancer, by Stage

Following PSA Levels During and After Prostate Cancer Treatment

Treating Prostate Cancer That Doesn’t Go Away or Comes Back After Treatment

Who Treats Prostate Cancer?

The main types of doctors who treat prostate cancer include:

Urologists: surgeons who treat diseases of the urinary system and male reproductive system (including the prostate)

Radiation oncologists: doctors who treat cancer with radiation therapy

Medical oncologists: doctors who treat cancer with medicines such as chemotherapy or hormone therapy

Many other specialists may be involved in your care as well, including nurse practitioners, nurses, psychologists, social workers, rehabilitation specialists, and other health professionals.

Health Professionals Associated With Cancer Care

Making Treatment Decisions

It’s important to discuss all of your treatment options, including their goals and possible side effects, with your doctors to help make the decision that best fits your needs. Some important things to consider include:

The stage and grade of your cancer

Your age and expected life span

Any other serious health conditions you have

Your feelings (and your doctor’s opinion) about the need to treat the cancer right away

The likelihood that treatment will cure your cancer (or help in some other way)

Your feelings about the possible side effects from each treatment

You may feel that you must make a decision quickly, but it’s important to give yourself time to absorb the information you have just learned. Ask questions if there is anything you’re not sure about.

If time permits, it is often a good idea to seek a second opinion. A second opinion can give you more information and help you feel more confident about the treatment plan you choose.

What Should You Ask Your Health Care Team About Prostate Cancer?

Seeking a Second Opinion

Thinking About Taking Part in a Clinical Trial

Clinical trials are carefully controlled research studies that are done to get a closer look at promising new treatments or procedures. Clinical trials are one way to get state-of-the art cancer treatment. In some cases they may be the only way to get access to newer treatments. They are also the best way for doctors to learn better methods to treat cancer. Still, they’re not right for everyone.

If you would like to learn more about clinical trials that might be right for you, start by asking your doctor if your clinic or hospital conducts clinical trials.

Clinical Trials

Considering Complementary and Alternative Methods

You may hear about alternative or complementary methods that your doctor hasn’t mentioned to treat your cancer or relieve symptoms. These methods can include vitamins, herbs, and special diets, or other methods such as acupuncture or massage, to name a few.

Complementary methods refer to treatments that are used along with your regular medical care. Alternative treatments are used instead of a doctor’s medical treatment. Although some of these methods might be helpful in relieving symptoms or helping you feel better, many have not been proven to work. Some might even be dangerous.

Be sure to talk to your cancer care team about any method you are thinking about using. They can help you learn what is known (or not known) about the method, which can help you make an informed decision.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Help Getting Through Cancer Treatment

Your cancer care team will be your first source of information and support, but there are other resources for help when you need it. Hospital- or clinic-based support services are an important part of your care. These might include nursing or social work services, financial aid, nutritional advice, rehab, or spiritual help.

The American Cancer Society also has programs and services – including rides to treatment, lodging,  and more – to help you get through treatment. Call our National Cancer Information Center at 1-800-227-2345 and speak with one of our trained specialists.

Find Support Programs and Services in Your Area

Choosing to Stop Treatment or Choosing no Treatment at All

For some people, when treatments have been tried and are no longer controlling the cancer, it could be time to weigh the benefits and risks of continuing to try new treatments. Whether or not you continue treatment, there are still things you can do to help maintain or improve your quality of life.

Some people, especially if the cancer is advanced, might not want to be treated at all. There are many reasons you might decide not to get cancer treatment, but it’s important to talk to your doctors and you make that decision. Remember that even if you choose not to treat the cancer, you can still get supportive care to help with pain or other symptoms.

If Cancer Treatments Stop Working

Palliative or Supportive Care

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