Once diagnosed, there are multiple treatment options for prostate cancer. The specific treatment choice is determined by a man’s age, medical problems, and the stage and grade of the cancer.
Active surveillance: While prostate cancer may be diagnosed, the slow growing nature of some cancers mean treatment may not be necessary. Our specialists may advise closely watching the disease rather than having immediate treatment. This approach has been shown in multiple clinical trials to be safe and effective. Any negative side effects of treatments like surgery and radiation therapy can be avoided.
Brachytherapy: Radioactive seeds are injected into the prostate gland where they slowly emit low-dose radiation over weeks or months. It effectively destroys cancer cells at close range.
Chemotherapy: Powerful drugs can be very effective in killing cancer cells, particularly those cells that have spread beyond the prostate to other parts of the body.
Consolidation therapy: Patients with advanced disease or cancer that has spread often benefit from a combined therapy approach using:
- Hormone blockers to prevent the growth of cancer cells. The cells usually need androgen hormones such as testosterone to multiply.
- Early chemotherapy to maximize the potential for achieving a positive long-term response to treatment.
Cryotherapy: Also known as cryoablation, this procedure uses cooled gases to freeze and kill cancer cells. The gas is delivered through a catheter guided by ultrasound into the prostate gland. It offers faster recovery and less pain.
Hormonal evaluation: Prior to treatment we do a complete hormonal evaluation to assess normal hormone levels. We provide hormonal replacement following treatment to help men return to their baseline. This preserves fertility and sexual function.
Immunotherapy: These are treatments which help the body’s immune system work harder in fighting cancer cells. Immunotherapy is a relatively new, safe alternative with minimal side effects. Provenge® FDA-approved immunotherapy is offered at GW Cancer Center.
IMRT (intensity-modulated radiation therapy): This advanced form of radiation therapy precisely maps the shape and size of the prostate gland. It delivers high-energy radiation rays to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells.
Sperm retrieval: We take a sample of testicular cells to look for viable sperm cells that can be preserved for use after cancer treatment.
Surgery: Depending upon your diagnosis and the size and location of the tumor, you may be a candidate for a surgical prostate removal (prostatectomy) using the da Vinci® surgical robot. Minimally invasive robotic surgery can decrease your hospital stay, reduce the risk of infection, decrease pain and scarring, and facilitate a faster recovery.
Targeted therapy: New drugs target cancer at the molecular level to block or slow cancer cell growth. They often have fewer side effects than chemotherapy.