Prostate Cancer Overview

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Treating Prostate Cancer TOPICS

How is prostate cancer treated?

This information represents the views of the doctors and nurses serving on the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Information Database Editorial Board. These views are based on their interpretation of studies published in medical journals, as well as their own professional experience.
The treatment information in this document is not official policy of the Society and is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your cancer care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.
Your doctor may have reasons for suggesting a treatment plan different from these general treatment options. Don’t hesitate to ask him or her questions about your treatment options.

About prostate cancer treatment

You have a lot to think about when choosing the best way to treat or manage your cancer. There may be more than one treatment to choose from. You might feel that you need to make a decision quickly. But give yourself time to take in all the information you have learned. Ask questions of your cancer care team. See the section “What are some questions I can ask my doctor about prostate cancer?” for some ideas about what to ask. Depending on each man’s case, the treatment options might include:

These treatments are most often used one at a time, although in some cases they may be combined.

Your treatment for prostate cancer will be based on the stage and grade of your cancer, as well as your age and health, and your thoughts on the pros and cons of the different treatment choices.

Many men may find it helpful to get a second opinion, especially if they have many treatments to choose from. Talking with doctors who specialize in different kinds of treatment may be helpful.

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

Your primary care doctor can also be a source of information as you sort through your treatment options. It’s important to discuss all of your treatment options, including goals and possible side effects, with your doctors to help you choose the treatment that best fits your needs.

Many other specialists might be part of your treatment team as well. If you’d like to know more about who may be on your cancer care team, see our document Health Professionals Associated With Cancer Care.

The next few sections describe the types of treatments used for prostate cancer.

Last Medical Review: 01/09/2015
Last Revised: 01/30/2015