Treatment Options For Prostate Cancer

Active Surveillance/Watchful Waiting

These are not types of treatment, but ways to monitor prostate cancer when it is very low-risk or slow growing. During active surveillance or watchful waiting, your doctor will keep track of the prostate cancer using various tests including a PSA blood test, digital rectal exam, and ultrasound. If the prostate cancer becomes more aggressive, your doctor may recommend other treatment options.

Biologic Therapy/Immunotherapy

Biologic Therapy/Immunotherapy includes therapeutic cancer vaccines, checkpoint immune modulators, and adoptive T cell therapies. These work by improving the body’s natural immune system in order to destroy the cancer cells within the prostate gland as well as those that have spread.

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Brachytherapy (Internal Radiation Therapy)

Brachytherapy is a type of radiation treatment that uses radioactive pellets or seeds that are inserted directly into the prostate gland to kill the cancer cells. Short-term hormonal therapy may also be used in combination with brachytherapy to help reduce the size of the tumor.


Chemotherapy involves taking certain drugs that work to kill the cancer cells. Chemo usually lasts for a couple of weeks and may involve having more than one round. This type of treatment is usually used when the cancer has spread beyond the prostate and to other areas of the body.


Cryotherapy/Cryosurgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that uses extremely cold gas to freeze and destroy the prostate. Trans-rectal ultrasound is used to map and guide needles through the area between the anus and scrotum so that the cold gases can be directed to the prostate.


Cyberknife is a type of stereotactic body radiation therapy and robotic-assisted radiosurgery that uses a computerized robot to automatically deliver high doses of radiation to the prostate gland. Fiducials are implanted into the body so that the Cyberknife machine can adjust to movement during each treatment.

Robotic Prostatectomy

Da Vinci Robotic Prostatectomy is a surgical procedure performed by a surgeon and his/her team with the aid of computer-enhanced robotic system. The surgeon is in complete control of the robotic technology, which allows him/her to see a magnified, high-resolution view of the operating field to safely and efficiently remove the cancerous prostate.

External Beam Radiation Therapy

External Beam Radiation Therapy targets the prostate gland with beams of radiation. After your prostate has been mapped and your body has been set into place by a fitted mold, shaped beams of radiation are directed at the prostate from several directions which kills the cancer cells.


HIFU delivers high frequency sound waves which creates heat to specific areas of the prostate to kill the cancer cells. A trans-rectal probe is inserted into your rectum to reach the prostate and more accurately target the prostate cancer with the strong beams.

Hormone Therapy

Hormone Therapy reduces or blocks the production of androgens (male hormones) in order to slow the growth of the prostate cancer. This type of treatment does not kill cancer cells, but is often used before radiation or after surgery.

Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy

Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy is a surgical procedure where small incisions are made in the abdomen and the cancerous prostate is removed using special surgical tools. The surgeon guides each tool by hand while using a surgical fiber optic camera to navigate and perform the surgery.

David Samadi, MD - Medical Contributor

View posts by David Samadi, MD - Medical Contributor
Dr. Samadi is a board-certified urologic oncologist trained in open and traditional and laparoscopic surgery and is an expert in robotic prostate surgery. He is chairman of urology, chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and professor of urology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. He is a medical correspondent for the Fox News Channel's Medical A-Team. Learn more at Visit Dr. Samadi's blog at Follow Dr. Samadi on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.
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