What is localised prostate cancer?

Localised prostate cancer is cancer that’s inside the prostate and hasn’t spread to other parts of the body. You may also hear it called early or organ-confined prostate cancer.

Localised prostate cancer often grows slowly – or doesn’t grow at all – and usually has a low risk of spreading. So it may never cause you any problems or affect how long you live.Because of this, localised prostate cancer might not need treatment. You might be able to have your cancer monitored with regular check-ups instead. This is to make sure the cancer isn’t growing more quickly than expected.

But some men will have cancer that grows quickly and has a high risk of spreading. This is more likely to cause problems and needs treatment to stop it spreading outside the prostate.

What do my test results mean?

Your results will give your doctor an idea of where your cancer has spread to. This will help you and your doctor to discuss which treatments might be suitable for you.

Read more about what your test results might mean.

What treatments are available?

Localised prostate cancer often grows slowly and might not need treatment. You may be able to have your cancer monitored with regular check-ups instead. If you decide to have treatment, it will usually aim to get rid of the cancer.

The two ways of monitoring localised prostate cancer are:

The main treatments for localised prostate cancer are:

You might also be offered high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) or cryotherapy, but they are less common.

Your doctor or nurse will talk you through your treatment options and help you choose the right type of monitoring or treatment for you. There’s no overall best treatment for localised prostate cancer, and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. Read more about choosing a treatment.

What is my outlook?

Many men will want to know how successful their treatment is likely to be. This is sometimes called your outlook or prognosis. No one can tell you exactly what your outlook will be, as it will depend on many things, such as the stage of your prostate cancer and how quickly it might grow, your age, and any other health problems. Speak to your doctor about your own situation.

Most localised prostate cancer is slow-growing and may not need treatment or shorten a man’s life. For many men who have treatment for localised prostate cancer, the treatment will get rid of the cancer. For some men, treatment may be less successful and the cancer may come back. If this happens, you might need further treatment

For more information about the outlook for men with prostate cancer, visit Cancer Research UK. The figures they provide are a general guide and they cannot tell you exactly what will happen to you. Speak to your doctor or nurse about your own situation.

References

Updated: September 2016To be reviewed: September 2018

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