There are a number of different treatments for prostate cancer. We’ve listed them all here. You may have a choice of treatments and this will depend on the stage of your cancer. Use the ‘filter by topic’ box below to see what treatments might be suitable for you. Or see a list of treatments for localised prostate cancer, locally advanced prostate cancer or advanced prostate cancer.

Read more about choosing a treatment.

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Choosing a treatment

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

Surgery may be a treatment option for men with prostate cancer that is contained inside the prostate and who are 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.

High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)

HIFU uses high frequency ultrasound waves to heat and destroy cancer cells in the prostate. It‘s newer than some other treatments, and we don’t know as much about how well it works and about the risk of side effects in the long term. Because of this, HIFU is only available in specialist centres in the UK or as part of a clinical trial.


Cryotherapy uses freezing and thawing to kill the cancer cells in the prostate gland. This page is for men who are thinking of having this treatment to treat their prostate cancer.

Second line hormone therapy and further treatment options

Hormone therapy can keep prostate cancer under control for months or years. But over time, cancer may start to grow again. If this happens, there are further treatments available. This may include other types of hormone therapy, chemotherapy or a new treatment as part of a clinical trial.


Chemotherapy uses anti-cancer drugs to kill the cancer cells. It won’t get rid of your prostate cancer, but can help to control or delay symptoms, and helps some men to live longer. You may have chemotherapy alongside other treatments such as hormone therapy, steroids, radiotherapy for advanced cancer and bisphosphonates.

New treatments

Several new treatments for prostate cancer have recently been developed. This page describes some of these treatments and how they work.


If you have advanced prostate cancer, you may be interested in our information on abiraterone (Zytiga®), a new type of hormone therapy.


Learn about enzalutamide, a new type of hormone therapy for men with advanced prostate cancer.

Getting new treatments

Find out why new treatments for prostate cancer aren’t always widely available, and how you may be able to get them.

Clinical trials

Clinical trials are types of medical research that test medicines, medical procedures or medical equipment. If you have prostate cancer, you might have the chance to take part in a clinical trial.

Radiotherapy for advanced prostate cancer

Men with advanced prostate cancer may have radiotherapy to help relieve pain and other symptoms. You may hear this called palliative radiotherapy. Radiotherapy for advanced prostate cancer does not aim to get rid of your cancer but it can help to slow down its growth. You might have external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) or a type of internal radiotherapy called radioisotope treatment.


Bisphosphonates are drugs that can be used to treat men whose prostate cancer has spread to the bones and is no longer responding to hormone therapy. They do not treat the cancer itself but they can help to relieve bone pain. Bisphosphonates may also help to prevent and slow down the breakdown of bone.

Follow-up after treatment

If you’ve had treatment that aimed to get rid of your prostate cancer, such as surgery, radiotherapy or brachytherapy, you will have regular check-ups afterwards. This is often called follow-up.

If your cancer comes back

Recurrent prostate cancer is cancer that has come back after having treatments such as surgery (radical prostatectomy), external beam radiotherapy, permanent seed brachytherapy or temporary brachytherapy.