Expert care and a range of treatment options.
Your treatment begins with your Legacy Cancer Institute doctor recommending a plan based on expert guidelines, called protocols. Your treatment is determined by:
- The type of tumor
- The location of the tumor
- The extent of the disease, called the stage
- Any tests you have had during diagnosis
- A discussion about what is right for you
Prostate cancer is different from other cancers because not every man with prostate cancer needs to be treated right away. Some people chose to monitor the cancer to see whether it is growing. This approach is called active surveillance or watchful waiting. Learn more about active surveillance.
There are several types of treatment for prostate cancer depending on its stage, and many people undergo a combination of treatments.
- Surgery for prostate cancer is mostly for men in good health and for those whose tumor hasn’t spread outside the prostate. There are three types of surgery:
- Radical prostatectomy is a surgery that removes the prostate and surrounding tissue.
- Pelvic lymphadenectomy is a surgery that removes the lymph nodes in the pelvis to look for cancer cells.
- Transurethral resection of the prostate is a surgery that removes tissue from the prostate.
Legacy offers advanced surgical capabilities, including robotic-assisted surgery, for prostate cancer. This minimally invasive surgery may allow you to return to normal activities faster than with traditional surgery.
- Radiation therapy is the use of X-rays or radioactive particles to destroy cancer cells. There are several different methods of radiation, such as:
- Brachytherapy: Radioactive material is placed in the body in direct contact with the tumor. Learn about brachytherapy.
- Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT): The radiation beam tailored to match your anatomy and the shape of the tumor.
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT): The radiation beam and the amount of radiation customized to the area of the tumor.
- Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be used for advanced prostate cancer.
- Hormone therapy slows or stops the growth of cancer by blocking or interfering with hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers that control bodily functions like the reproductive system. Hormone therapy can be given as a pill or injection.
High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a new treatment option for prostate cancer. HIFU uses focused sound waves, also known as ultrasound, to heat and destroy cancerous tumors without damaging surrounding tissue, nerves and muscles. Learn about high intensity focused ultrasound.
Talk to your doctor about these and other treatments for prostate cancer. There may also be a clinical trial (research study) for which you are eligible. Researchers are discovering new therapies for treating cancer all the time, giving doctors new resources for your care.
What happens next
Many cancer treatments can cause challenging side effects. Your cancer team is dedicated to helping you manage these symptoms in the best ways possible. Comfort care can treat symptoms to help improve your quality of life; this is also called palliative care.
To see how well your treatment is working, some of the tests used to diagnose and stage your cancer may be repeated. Your doctor uses these tests to decide whether to stop, change or continue treatment based on the results. These tests can also determine if cancer has returned. Whenever possible, we work to stop the growth of cancer and reduce the chance of cancer coming back.
Working together for you
Our cancer experts work together with a common goal: delivering the right care for you.
A range of specialists collaborate regularly in meetings called tumor boards to discuss the best plan for your care. Your treatment plan is made just for you, depending on your general health, your age, your particular cancer and its growth.
You are not alone. Legacy offers support throughout your cancer journey, as well as care for your emotional, social and spiritual needs.