According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime[1]. Once diagnosed, doctors will discuss the different treatment options available, as well as the specific benefits and effects of each.

While treatment is completely dependent on the individual, there are some common treatment options for those with prostate cancer, these include:

  • Active surveillance
  • Surgery
  • External beam radiotherapy
  • Brachytherapy
  • Hormone therapy

See also: How Many Stages of Cancer are There and What do They Mean?


Prostate cancer treatment options


It’s important to keep in mind all options and make an educated decision along with the help of a doctor or cancer care team when it comes to choosing the right treatment.

Although the treatment chosen to treat one man might not be the right treatment for another, knowing all there is to know about each treatment option will help both the patient and the doctor choose the treatment best suited to their specific needs.


Active surveillance


Active surveillance essentially means that the patient doesn’t begin treatment straight away. In place of treatment, they have regular prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests every year. MRIs and biopsies may also be used every 1-3 years to keep an eye on the cancer [2].

This particular form of treatment is usually recommended if the cancer isn’t causing any symptoms or problems and appears to be growing quite slowly.

See also: Do Elevated PSA Levels Mean You Have Prostate Cancer?


Surgery


Depending on the stage and grade of the prostate cancer, radical prostatectomy may be a treatment option. This is a surgery to remove the entire prostate, only if the cancer hasn’t spread outside of the prostate gland.


External beam radiotherapy


External beam radiotherapy involves using high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells. This treatment is sometimes used for early forms of prostate cancer and may be received a few times a week for a number of weeks [3].


Brachytherapy


Another form of radiotherapy treatment, brachytherapy places small radioactive pellets directly into the prostate to help destroy prostate cancer cells. As some side-effects of this treatment include urinary and bowel problems [4], it may not be suited to everyone.


Hormone therapy


Hormone therapy uses tablets or injections in an attempt to reduce the amount of male hormones in the body - this can help in stopping or slowing the growth of the cancer. This is sometimes used in line with other treatments such as radiotherapy [5].

See also: What Causes Cancer? Risks and Reducing Risk of Cancer


When cancer is spotted in its early stages, it’s more likely that treatment will be successful and one of the most reliable ways to spot it early is with a screening test. It’s important to note that screening is recommended for people who have no symptoms at all. If you’re experiencing signs or symptoms, it’s important to speak with your doctor.

LetsGetChecked’s at-home PSA Test can measure the levels of prostate specific antigen in the blood which may be elevated in prostate cancer, as well as in a number of other conditions. Test results will be available online within 2-5 days and our dedicated medical team will be available to answer any questions you may have throughout the process.

You should consider taking the test if:

  • You are over the age of 50
  • You have a strong family history of prostate cancer
  • You are experiencing symptoms related to prostate cancer
  • You are overweight or obese

See also: How Can You Screen For Prostate Cancer From Home?



References

  1. American Cancer Society. About Prostate Cancer. Online: Cancer.org
  2. American Cancer Society. Observation or Active Surveillance for Prostate Cancer. Online: Cancer.org, 2019
  3. Irish Cancer Society. How is Prostate Cancer Treated? Online: Cancer.ie
  4. Irish Cancer Society. How is Prostate Cancer Treated? Online: Cancer.ie
  5. American Cancer Society. Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer. Online: Cancer.org, 2019