Treating Prostate Cancer

What are some of the treatments for prostate cancer?

These resources cover some of the most common treatments and what you can expect from them.


To help with making decisions about treatment, patients can be placed into high, intermediate or low risk groups with respect to likely cancer outcome. This is done using a combination of factors.

External Beam Radiotherapy –  Radiotherapy is a suitable treatment for men of any age and is as effective at treating localised prostate cancer as surgery to remove the prostate (radical prostatectomy).

Hormone Therapy – Hormone therapy works by stopping the hormone testosterone from reaching the prostate cancer cells.

Second-Line Hormone Therapy – If you are on hormone therapy and your PSA starts to rise, this may mean that your hormone therapy is no longer working as well as it was. You may be offered another type of hormone therapy, which is sometimes called second-line hormone therapy.

Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is a treatment option that may be suitable for men who have prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (advanced prostate cancer) and is no longer responding to hormone therapy. Chemotherapy is used to help control symptoms and not to cure prostate cancer.

Clinical Trials – A clinical trial is a type of medical research study that aims to find new and improved ways of preventing, diagnosing, treating and controlling illnesses.

If Your Cancer Comes Back – Risk and Treatments – Some treatments aim to cure prostate cancer and others aim to control it, without getting rid of it. Recurrent prostate cancer is cancer that has come back after you’ve had a treatment that aimed to cure it.

Permanent Seed Brachytherapy – Permanent seed brachytherapy, also known as low dose-rate brachytherapy, involves having tiny radioactive seeds implanted in your prostate gland. Each radioactive seed is the size and shape of a small grain of rice. The seeds stay in the prostate and give a continuous dose of radiation over a few months.

Cryotherapy – Cryotherapy is a treatment that uses extreme cold to freeze and destroy cancer cells. It is also known as cryosurgery or cryoablation. Thin needles are inserted into the prostate and a gas is passed down them to freeze the prostate and kill the cancer cells.

Bisphosphonates – Bisphosphonates are drugs that can help manage bone pain when prostate cancer has spread to the bones. If cancer spreads to your bones, it may damage and weaken them. This can cause bone pain and increase your risk of broken bones.

Treating Prostate Cancer after Hormone Therapy – Hormone therapy alone won’t cure your prostate cancer but it can keep it under control, sometimes for several years, before you need further treatment. It is also used with other treatments, such as radiotherapy, to make them more effective.

Busting the prostate cancer myths – Tackling 9 common myths about prostate cancer

Radiation Oncology RANZCR – Radiation oncology is a medical speciality that involves the controlled use of radiation to treat cancer either for cure, or to reduce pain and other symptoms caused by cancer.

Links made with the kind permission of Prostate Cancer UK and PAndrology Australia.