How do you choose a treatment option?

There are 3 major treatment options

Active surveillance, surgery, and radiation therapy.

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Disclaimer: This information isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should never rely upon this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

A man diagnosed with localized or locally advanced prostate cancer has 3 major treatment options: active surveillance, surgery, and radiation therapy. Choosing the best treatment for localized or locally advanced prostate cancer is generally based on age, the stage and grade of the cancer, the patient’s general health, and an evaluation of the risks and benefits of each therapy option.

For men whose disease appears more aggressive, certain treatment combinations may be recommended. For example, radiation therapy is sometimes combined with hormone therapy; on the other hand, surgery is almost never combined with hormonal therapy, but may require follow-up radiation therapy, especially for men with more aggressive disease.

Remember, each first-line treatment for prostate cancer carries with it slightly different risks of side effects. It is critical that you ask your doctor to outline your risk for all possible outcomes of all possible treatment options before you select your path. For example, while one man might be more concerned about how fast he can get back to work, another man might be more interested in maintaining long-term erectile function.

Things to watch out for

Primary hormonal therapy alone is not a standard treatment option for men with localized prostate cancer and should not be recommended.

Investigational treatment options for localized disease—such as cryotherapy and high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)—have thus far not demonstrated the same long term success as surgery or radiation therapy in clinical trials, and both have been shown to be inferior as initial treatments. HIFU is not FDA-approved for the treatment of prostate cancer and often not covered by insurance. It is recommended that you only receive these treatments in the context of a clinical trial.

To learn more, please visit the Prostate Cancer Foundation at

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