About 1 in 8 men in the United States will receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer in their lifetime. Many treatments have been developed for prostate cancer, but the best treatment for you will depend on the stage of your cancer, how aggressive it is, and other factors such as Your age..

Prostate cancer is very treatable, and it has almost a 97% 5-year relative survival rate. But before starting treatment, it’s important to discuss your options with a doctor or healthcare professional.

“Some treatments are more aggressive than others. Let’s learn more about your treatment options and how you can make an informed decision.”

There are many treatments for the disease, and each has benefits and risks. There is rarely one correct option.

“Factors that can influence the doctor’s recommendation.”

  • the stage of your prostate cancer
  • Your age.
  • How fast your cancer is predicted to grow.
  • whether you have other health problems such as diabetes or heart disease
  • if you’ve had previous surgery for an enlarged prostate
  • The resources are available in your area.
  • You and your loved ones have a preference.
  • There are possible side effects from treatment.

The stage of your cancer is one of the most important factors for guiding treatment. The most common staging system is the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC)’s tumor–node–metastasis (TNM) system. This system divides cancer from stages 1 to 4 and considers:

  • Tumor: This looks at the size of your cancer.
  • Node: This looks at whether your cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
  • Metastasis: This looks at whether your cancer has spread to distant parts of your body.
  • Your prostate-specific antigen (PSA levels): When you receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer, elevated levels can indicate cancer or other conditions that affect your prostate, such as prostatitis or a urinary tract infection.
  • Your Grade Group: Based on your Gleason score, this measures how likely it is that your cancer will grow or spread quickly.

The stages of treatment

The stage of your cancer is the most important factor in how your treatment will progress, so we have divided the rest of the article into segments based on that.

The first stage. prostate cancer is the least advanced stage. This means your cancer is small and hasn’t advanced past your prostate.

In this stage, PSA and Grade Group levels are low. Over 99% of people with prostate cancer caught in this stage survive the effects of cancer for at least 5 years. This means that you can still die of other causes, but you have a less than 1% chance of dying of prostate cancer complications.

Treatment for stage 1 prostate cancer usually consists of some combination of active surveillance, surgery, or radiation therapy. You may also be eligible for clinical trials that offer newer treatment techniques.

Active surveillance and watchful waiting

No treatment is given when active surveilling. You are given regular tests to monitor the cancer over time.

Doctors usually recommend active surveillance if your cancer is unlikely to spread to organs far away from your prostate. Active surveillance typically involves regular PSA screenings and visits with a doctor. You may also get a prostate biopsy (tissue sample) every few years to look for the presence of cancerous cells.

If you have a serious health issue, watchful waiting may be used. During watchful waiting, you may be given treatment to help relieve symptoms and improve your quality of life.


A doctor may recommend a type of surgery called a radical prostatectomy to remove your prostate and seminal vesicles. This surgery is usually combined with a pelvic lymphadenectomy to remove your lymph nodes and check for cancer.

You may also receive radiation therapy after surgery.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. It may be combined with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), a hormone therapy that lowers the levels of hormones called androgens that can fuel the cancer.

Two types of radiation therapy may be recommended.

  • External radiation therapy: A machine outside your body focuses a beam of high-energy rays on the area with the cancer. This type of radiation therapy is the most common.
  • Internal radiation therapy: Small pieces of radioactive material are placed into your prostate.

Clinical trials

You may be eligible for trials that use newer techniques. If researchers find these techniques are more effective than the standard treatments, they will become the new standard treatment.

A doctor can help you find clinical trials in your area that you may be eligible for. You can also search on ClinicalTrials.gov. Clinical trial treatments may include:

  • Cryosurgery: An extremely cold liquid is used to freeze and destroy cancerous tissue.
  • Photodynamic therapy: The cancer cells are destroyed with drugs that are activated by light exposure.
  • High-intensity-focused ultrasound therapy: High-energy sound waves are used to create heat and destroy cancer cells.

“Clinical trials are experimental and won’t be more effective than established treatments. When you enter into a clinical trial for cancer, you should talk to a doctor about what you can expect. They will be able to make sure the trial doesn’t interfere with other treatments.”

Stage 2 is the second stage. prostate cancer is still limited to your prostate gland, but your PSA and Grade Group levels are higher. A doctor may be able to feel the tumor during a digital rectal exam at this stage.

Over 99% of people in this stage are expected to survive the effects of prostate cancer for at least 5 years (not taking any other possible causes of death into account).

The staging system breaks stage 2 into 3 groups depending on how big your tumor is and how the cells look under a microscope. The doctor may consider the differences when helping to find the best treatment for you.

Treatment for stage 2 prostate cancer is similar to stage 1 and may consist of some combination of:

  • Active surveillance: Your PSA levels are checked, and an occasional tissue sample is taken to look for cancerous cells.
  • Watchful waiting: This looks to relieve symptoms and sustain your quality of life if you’re older or have other health issues.
  • Radiation therapy: This treatment kills cancerous cells.
  • Radical prostatectomy surgery: Possibly with radiation, this process removes your prostate and the tissue around it.
  • Clinical trials: These investigate newer treatments.

In stages 2A and 2B, active surveillance is only recommended.

People with stage 3 prostate cancer still have a higher than 99% chance of surviving the effects of cancer for at least 5 years (without taking other causes of death into account).

Stage 3 is the third stage. is divided into stages 3A, 3B, and 3C. Cancer in stage 3B or 3C may have spread beyond your prostate to nearby tissue, such as your seminal vesicles (glands that help produce semen for ejaculation) or lymph nodes that carry lymph fluid throughout your body. Prostate cancer in these stages is harder to treat effectively.

Standard treatments for stage 3 prostate cancer include:

  • External radiation therapy: This helps to kill cancerous cells.
  • ADT: This lowers the levels of androgens such as testosterone. Lowering androgen levels can help slow the growth of cancerous tumors.
  • Radical prostatectomy surgery: This removes your prostate and the tissue around it.
  • Active surveillance: This monitors your PSA levels and examines the tumor tissues for cancerous cells.
  • Watchful waiting: This treats your symptoms if you’re older and you have a high risk of side effects from other treatments.

Treatment may include a type of surgery that cuts away part of your prostate called transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). This surgery can help manage symptoms such as frequent urination or sudden urge to pee caused by your prostate putting pressure on your urethra.

A doctor may recommend trials. Clinical trials are experimental and may not always be more effective than other treatments.

Discuss the possible side effects with your doctor.

Stage 4 prostate cancer is the most advanced form of prostate cancer, so the survival rate is lower.

It is divided into two stages.

  • Stage 4A cancer: This is when the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes and possibly to other nearby tissues such as your rectum, bladder, or pelvic wall.
  • Stage 4B cancer: This is when the cancer has spread to distant parts of your body such as your bones or distant lymph nodes.

The 5-year relative survival rate drops to 31% if your prostate cancer reaches these distant parts of your body.

Some treatments for people with stage 4A cancer who are healthy enough to receive treatment include:

  • External beam radiation treatment with ADT: This kills cancerous cells and stops androgens such as testosterone from causing the tumors to grow faster.
  • Abiraterone: This helps to lower the levels of androgens in your body that can promote tumor growth.
  • Radical prostatectomy with pelvic lymph node dissection: This process removes your prostate, the affected tissue around your prostate, and the cancerous tissue in your nearby lymph nodes.

“If you don’t have any symptoms, a doctor may recommend a different treatment.”

  • Watchful waiting: This looks to relieve your symptoms and keep up your quality of life if other treatments are too risky.
  • Active surveillance: Your PSA levels are monitored, and your prostate tissue is examined for cancerous cells.
  • Hormone therapy: This lowers your androgen levels and slows the tumor growth.

Most stage 4B cancers can’t be completely gotten rid of. But treatment can help keep your cancer under control and improve your quality of life. Treatment could include:

  • ADT: This can be alone or combined with:
    • Abiraterone can lower your androgen levels.
    • apalutamide in combination with other ADT options to improve your outlook
    • Docetaxel is a drug that is used to kill cancer cells.
    • enzalutamide is used to slow the growth of tumors.
    • External beam radiation therapy uses x-rays or protons to break down cancer.
  • TURP: This surgery treats symptoms such as urinary obstruction.
  • External radiation: This kills cancerous cells.
  • Watchful waiting: This looks to minimize your symptoms if other treatments are too risky.
  • Active surveillance: Your PSA levels are monitored, and your prostate tissue is examined for cancerous cells.
  • Bisphosphonate therapy: This is treatment for bone pain.
  • Alpha emitter radiation therapy: This is for treating prostate cancer that’s spread to your bones.
  • Radical prostatectomy with testicle removal: This treatment is also called an orchiectomy.

Many of these treatments can slow the progress of your tumor growth and help you live longer. But keep in mind that these treatments may also have painful or disruptive side effects that can decrease your quality of life, including:

If you want to proceed with the treatment, you should talk to the doctor about the risks and benefits.

If you have a serious health issue, or if you have cancer, active monitoring and waiting may be the best way to lower pain and discomfort from the spread of cancer cells.

Living with prostate cancer

It can be difficult to receive a diagnosis of cancer. Even though most people who receive a diagnosis of prostrate cancer live for many years after receiving the diagnosis, treatment can be exhausting and cause side effects that impact your quality of life.

There are many resources that can help you through difficult times.

There are many treatment options for the disease. Treatment options include watchful waiting, active surveillement, and surgery.

It is important to discuss treatment options with a doctor to decide what is best for you. There is usually no one right option. A doctor can tell you about the pros and cons of each option.

Regardless of what type of treatment you choose, look for mental health support resources as well. This can help you live a happy and healthy life after receiving a diagnosis.