Q | what are the treatments for localised prostate cancer?
A | If the cancer is localised to the prostate, the following options are available:
- Watchful Waiting: In this instance, no specific intervention is offered. It involves monitoring you on a regular basis and intervening if symptoms develop. Some people see this as "no treatment at all", however, it is based on the fact that your quality of life remains the same as it was before your diagnosis.
It is usually offered to older patients with the understanding that some of the other interventions (such as those listed below) may have more risks and complications compared to the benefit that may be received at the end of such treatment.
- Radical Prostatectomy: This is a surgical procedure whereby the prostate gland is removed whole. After removal of the prostate, the urethra and bladder are then rejoined so that you should be able to pass urine normally.
- External Beam Radiotherapy: This involves shining X-rays on the prostate gland to destroy the cancer cells within the prostate.
- HIFU (High Intensity Frequency Ultrasound) a new treatment option that can be used to treat localized prostate cancer. See HIFU section.
- Brachytherapy: This is a newer procedure made popular in the USA, whereby small radioactive needles are implanted into the prostate. This allows a local, high dose of radiation to penetrate the prostate and kill off the cancer cells.
These treatment options have many advantages and disadvantages, which should be discussed with you on an individual basis with your urologist at the time of consultation.