Localised prostate cancer

Treatments for localised prostate cancer that needs to be actively treated are intended to completely eradicate, or cure, the cancer.

The options most likely to be offered when active treatment is required include surgery (to remove the prostate) or radiation therapy (to kill the cancerous cells).

Men with low-risk prostate cancer (i.e. localised prostate cancer and a low biopsy Gleason score), might also be offered the following management options:

Watchful waiting

For some men, particularly older men with major health issues, treatment might not be appropriate. They will be regularly monitored and if symptoms develop (e.g. bone pain), treatment will be offered to manage these symptoms. The intent is to treat symptoms as they arise, not offer a cure.

Active surveillance

For men who have low-risk prostate cancer, active surveillance is an option. Men are regularly monitored by the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test, digital rectal examination (DRE) and occasional further biopsies. The results from these tests and procedures will show if the cancer has changed. If the disease progresses, they are offered treatment with the intent to cure, usually by surgery or radiation therapy. The thinking behind this strategy is that because treatments have side effects that affect quality of life, it can be better to delay treatment as long as possible. Men on active surveillance might never need treatment.

More information about treatment options for localised prostate cancer can be found here: http://www.prostate.org.au/awareness/for-recently-diagnosed-men-and-their-families/localised-prostate-cancer/treatment/

Source: Reproduced from pcfa.org.au with minor modifications and with the kind permission of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

Advanced prostate cancer

The best treatment option depends on how far the cancer has spread and other factors such as your age and overall health. The standard treatment options for treating advanced prostate cancer are radiation therapy, hormone therapy (also known as androgen deprivation therapy), chemotherapy, or a combination of these.

For some men, surgery to remove the prostate gland is still a treatment option when the cancer has just spread a little way outside the prostate gland (locally advanced prostate cancer).

However, if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, or metastasised, treatments will aim to control or contain the cancer. Where the disease has spread to will influence the type of treatment your doctor recommends.

More information about treatment options for advanced prostate cancer can be found here: http://www.prostate.org.au/awareness/for-recently-diagnosed-men-and-their-families/advanced-prostate-cancer/treatment/

Source: Reproduced from pcfa.org.au with minor modifications and with the kind permission of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.


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How do I decide what treatment is best for me?

A number of factors need to be considered, such as age, general health, and the nature of the cancer. It is important to gather as much reliable information as possible about the options available. The prostate cancer specialist nurse at this centre can help to make sure you have the latest and most comprehensive information.

Some things to consider:

  • Know what your choices are
  • Make sure you are involved in the decision-making as much as you feel able
  • Find out about the pros and cons of each option
  • Identify the option that suits you best

Remember, there is no ‘right’ choice, only what is best for you, depending on your values.

Understanding as much as you can about prostate cancer enables you to participate in the decisions about different treatment options. It is important to ask your doctor for as much information as you need. Discussing options with your partner and/or close friends or relatives can also help. So might going along to your local prostate cancer support group.

Getting a second opinion is valuable and doesn’t mean you have less faith in your health professional. It can be a good idea to get a second opinion about your results and your treatment options. Talking it through with another doctor or health professional who understands prostate cancer can help clear up any concerns you have, and help you to understand the best treatment option available.

While there is a wide range of information available on the internet, it is important to know that this can be confusing and may also be inaccurate, and sometimes, plain wrong or not relevant to your particular situation.

Always make sure that information is from credible and reliable sources. Your healthcare team and prostate cancer specialist nurse can assist with what information is most useful. Prostate cancer support group networks can also be very helpful with specific information and can link you with men and their partners who have been through the same process.

Source: Reproduced from pcfa.org.au with minor modifications and with the kind permission of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

Whether it’s for diagnosis or treatment, patients attending the PCC are treated as individuals by a team of specialist doctors and allied health professionals with complimentary skill sets who really do care. It’s a true multidisciplinary approach.

It’s what makes the PCC different.