Your doctor will guide you toward the best treatment plan available at your medical center. One factor to consider is that doctors at other medical centers may provide additional options. ProstateThe prostate is a walnut-sized gland located between the bla... Full Definition cancerCancer is a group of diseases where cells grow abnormally an... Full Definition care is constantly advancing, so you may want to consider consulting with another doctor at a different facility for a second opinion before making a final decision.

All men have treatment options. The treatment options your doctor recommends will depend on the risk category your cancer falls into: low, intermediate, high, very high, or advanced disease that has already spread.

50% of prostate cancers may be over-treated.

Your options will also depend on your age and your current health status. Take, for instance, four men with intermediate risk disease that is still contained within the prostate.

Patient 1

ConsiderationsProstate cancer in a patient this young is often treated aggressively. With many years left to live, side effects may be tolerable in exchange for a cure. However, a younger patient must also consider the possibility of long-term side effects, such as those from certain forms of radiation therapy.
Treatment ChoiceThis patient chose Radical Prostatectomy

Patient 2

ConsiderationsThis patient’s cancer is on the borderline between low and intermediate risk. The side effects of either radiation or surgery concern the patient, but he prefers a more proactive approach to Active Surveillance. He asks his doctor if there are any emerging therapies worth trying and they discuss the pros and cons.
Treatment ChoiceThis patient chose Focal Laser Ablation (FLA)

Patient 3

HealthType 2 Diabetes
ConsiderationsThis patient’s Type 2 diabetes is in control, but he would rather avoid the stress and recovery of major surgery on top of his daily regimen. Active Surveillance is a possibility for him, but he is motivated to treat his cancer and finds the treatment schedule and side effects of radiation manageable.
Treatment ChoiceThis patient chose Brachytherapy

Patient 4

HealthHeart Condition
ConsiderationsFor this patient, surgery carries a high risk and may have a higher chance of serious complications. Radiotherapy is one option, but due to the patient’s advanced age he decides Active Surveillance will provide a better quality of life.
Treatment ChoiceThis patient chose Active Surveillance

These scenarios are hypothetical, and doctors will consider many factors before they recommend therapy.

Another factor to acknowledge as a patient is that you are an individual. What is right for one man is not necessarily right for another man. It is very important to tell your care team as much as possible about yourself as you consider treatment options. It is often difficult to weigh the risks and benefits when more than one option is medically appropriate. Additional information about your health will help guide your doctor’s decision making.

  • If fertilityThe ability to conceive children. is important to you, tell your doctor. Some treatment options will cause infertility.
  • If you already experience erectile dysfunction, you may weigh the side effects of procedures differently. Treatments with potential sexual side effects may seem like more tolerable options for you than other men.
  • If you have diabetes, are overweight, or have other health conditions, discuss them with your doctor. Some conditions add risk to surgery and make radiotherapyTreatment that uses ionizing radiation to kill cancer cells.... Full Definition the better of two otherwise equal options.
  • Other therapies such as focal laser ablationThe removal of small amounts of tissue from the body using s... Full Definition and high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), though they are not standard therapies, could also be options.