March 16, 2009 -- Question: What are my treatment options for prostate cancer, and how do I know which treatment is best for me?
Answer: In general, treatment options for prostate cancer include watchful waiting, which is observation of the cancer. It could include surgical procedures to remove the prostate -- including open or robotic prostatectomy. It includes radiation treatments, and this could include either external bean radiation or brachytherapy, which are radioactive seeds, which are placed into the prostate. In addition there are some more, what are considered experimental therapies, including cryoablation and high intensity frequency ultrasound, and then other things which are coming on the horizon.
The options which are best for the individual patient depend a lot upon the grade and the stage of the prostate cancer, which is determined by your PSA level. In addition, for some people, where there's a suspicion that prostate cancer may be outside of the prostate, bone scan or CT or MRI imaging may be obtained to look for any prostate cancer already outside of the prostate.
If there is prostate cancer which is outside of the prostate, the treatment options are limited more to systemic therapies primarily hormonal therapy, and, as a second line, chemotherapeutic agents.