There are a number of different treatments for prostate cancer. You may have a choice of treatments and deciding on which kind to have can be a difficult decision to make.

It is up to you how much you want to be involved in choosing your treatment. Talk to your doctor or nurse about your options. They should talk to you about all treatment options even if they are not all available at your local hospital. You can also call our Specialist Nurses or chat to a nurse online if you have questions about your options.

You can bring someone along to your appointments if you want to. It can be hard to take everything in, so it can be helpful to have someone else to listen or make notes for you.

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What are my treatment options?

You may have a choice of treatments. Your doctor or specialist nurse will explain all your treatment options, and help you to choose the right treatment for you.

Active surveillance

Active surveillance is a way of monitoring slow-growing prostate cancer, rather than treating it straight away. The aim is to avoid unnecessary treatment, or delay treatment and the possible side effects.

Watchful waiting

Watchful waiting is a way of monitoring prostate cancer that isn't causing any symptoms or problems. The aim is to keep an eye on the cancer over the long term, and avoid treatment unless you get symptoms.

Surgery: radical prostatectomy

Radical prostatectomy is an operation to remove the prostate gland and the cancer contained inside it. You may be suitable for this treatment if your cancer is thought to be contained inside the prostate and you are otherwise fit and healthy.

External beam radiotherapy

External beam radiotherapy uses high energy X-ray beams to treat prostate cancer. The X-ray beams damage the cancer cells and stop them growing. You may have external beam radiotherapy on its own, or with a type of internal radiotherapy called brachytherapy. Or you might have it after surgery.

Permanent seed brachytherapy

Permanent seed brachytherapy involves implanting tiny radioactive seeds into your prostate gland. This is also called low dose rate brachytherapy. Radiation from the seeds destroys cancer cells in the prostate. You may have this treatment on its own or together with external beam radiotherapy or hormone therapy.

Hormone therapy

Hormone therapy helps control prostate cancer by stopping the hormone testosterone from reaching the prostate cancer cells. It does not cure cancer but can keep it under control, sometimes for several years. It can also help to manage symptoms. You might have hormone therapy on its own, or with other treatments such as radiotherapy or brachytherapy.

Temporary brachytherapy

Temporary brachytherapy involves inserting a source of high dose-rate radiation into the prostate gland for a few minutes at a time to destroy cancer cells. This is also called high dose rate brachytherapy. You may have this treatment on its own or you together with external beam radiotherapy or hormone therapy.