MSD Manual

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Common Methods and Strategies for Treating Prostate Cancer

Common Methods and Strategies for Treating Prostate Cancer

Characteristics of the Cancer

Treatment Strategy

Method of Treatment

Cancer, confined to prostate in men expected to live many years

Curative treatment (to remove all traces of the cancer)

Surgery or radiation therapy

Small, slow-growing cancer, confined to prostate in men with shorter life expectancy

Active surveillance (to monitor and watch for symptoms or changes in the cancer, treating only when it becomes necessary)

No treatment

Large or fast-growing cancer, confined to prostate

Curative treatment

Surgery or radiation therapy

Cancer spread to areas outside the prostate, but not to distant areas

Curative treatment

Radiation therapy

Widespread cancer

Palliative treatment (aimed at slowing progression and relieving symptoms and that may prolong life but will not cure the cancer)

Hormonal or chemotherapy

Cancer that stops responding to hormonal therapy (castrate-resistant prostate cancer)

Palliative treatment

Chemotherapy, newer hormonal therapies, sipuleucel-T, PARPi (poly [ADP-ribose] polymerase inhibitor) or radium-233