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Cancer Center

Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Different types of treatment are available for prostate cancer. You and your doctor will decide which treatment is right for you.

Some common treatments are:

  • Surgery (radical prostatectomy): Prostatectomy is surgery to remove the prostate completely. Radical prostatectomy removes the prostate as well as the surrounding tissue.
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation destroys cancer cells, or prevents them from growing, by directing high-energy X-rays (radiation) at the prostate.
    • External radiation therapy: A machine outside the body directs radiation at the cancer cells.
    • Internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy): Radioactive seeds or pellets are surgically placed into or near the cancer to destroy the cancer cells.
  • Hormone therapy: This treatment uses drugs, surgery, or other hormones to remove male sex hormones or block them from working, which prevents cancer cells from growing.

Other therapies used in the treatment of prostate cancer that are still under investigation include:

  • Cryotherapy: Placing a special probe inside or near the prostate cancer to freeze and kill the cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy: Using special drugs to shrink or kill the cancer. The drugs can be pills you take or medicines given through an intravenous (IV) tube, or, sometimes, both.
  • Biological therapy: This treatment works with your body's immune system to help it fight cancer or to control side effects from other cancer treatments. Side effects are how your body reacts to drugs or other treatments. Biological therapy is different from chemotherapy, which attacks cancer cells directly.
  • High-intensity focused ultrasound: This therapy directs high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) at the cancer to kill cancer cells.

*Information from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).