Treatment

If you have prostate cancer, our cancer specialists will work with you to design a personalized treatment plan.

We provide high quality, patient-focused care with advanced technology, innovative programs and experienced caregivers.

We’ll consider the type, size, and stage of your prostate cancer, plus your age and overall health, to recommend one or more of the following treatment strategies:

  • Surgery to remove the prostate or any tumors that have spread beyond the prostate
  • Chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy to kill or stop the growth or spread of cancer cells
  • Chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy to prevent or delay your cancer's return
  • Symptom management for pain or other cancer-related symptoms

Treatment options for prostate cancer include:

Active Surveillance

Because prostate cancer often grows very slowly, we sometimes take the approach of careful monitoring and observation of the cancer. If a cancer is confined to the prostate and slow-growing, we may not actively treat it, especially if you have other health conditions that would make surgery and recovery difficult. With active surveillance, it is very important to have regular checkups, in case something changes. Some men  don’t require any treatment during their lifetime. Others will eventually need one or more of the treatment methods described below.

Surgery

Surgery to remove the prostate gland, called a prostatectomy, is often the first line of treatment for early stages of prostate cancer.

Our experienced urologists often can perform a prostatectomy using laparoscopy, a technique in which the surgeon makes several small incisions and uses surgical tools to remove the prostate gland. Some of our surgeons use robotic-assisted surgery, in which the surgeon precisely controls tiny robotic arms to remove the prostate.

In a small number of cases, your surgeon may recommend an open prostatectomy, which uses a single long incision from your lower abdomen to pubic bone to remove your prostate and nearby tissues. A second type of open procedure makes the incision between the anus and scrotum.

Our surgeons at Premier Health will choose the least invasive option that will produce the best possible results for you.

If the cancer has spread beyond the prostate, radiation therapy and medical therapies are generally recommended as the first line of treatment.

Medical Therapies

Medical therapies often provide additional ways to eradicate cancer cells, either before or after surgery. We have several comfortable outpatient infusion centers where you can receive treatment. In some locations, we offer massage therapy, art therapy, and other services.

At Premier Health, we offer these medical therapies for prostate cancer:

Hormone therapyalso called androgen deprivation therapy, is a treatment that stops the male hormone testosterone from being produced or from reaching prostate cancer cells. Treatment to halt testosterone production includes medications and sometimes surgical removal of the testicles. Most prostate cancer cells rely on testosterone to help them grow. Hormone therapy causes prostate cancer cells to die or to grow more slowly.

Chemotherapy can be given as pills, an injection, or through an IV to stop the growth and spread of cancer cells. We may use this before surgery to shrink your tumor or after surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells. We aggressively treat not only your cancer, but also the side effects of chemotherapy, such as nausea, or pain.

Vaccine immunotherapy/biologicaltherapy boosts your immune system to increase your body’s natural ability to fight cancer. We use a new therapy called Provenge for advanced prostate cancer. Our doctors collect a sample of your immune cells so they can be activated with specific proteins and infused back into your body to stimulate your immune system to destroy prostate cancer cells.

Tumor-targeted therapy involves analyzing your tumor and selecting a combination of drugs to combat your specific type of prostate cancer. At Premier Health, we offer several variations with multiple combinations, although targeted therapy isn’t an option for every person.

If prostate cancer has spread, it often travels to the bones first. We try to prevent or slow the spread of cancer to the bones with hormone therapy, chemotherapy, or a vaccine.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses radiation beams of intense energy to destroy cancer cells, while keeping normal organs safe. At Premier Health, we offer three types of radiation therapy for people with prostate cancer. Radiation treatments may be given with or without hormonal therapy. Your doctor will talk with you about which approach is best for your unique circumstances.

We commonly take new CT scans at the beginning of each treatment session to determine the location of the prostate in relation to the bladder, bowel, and rectum. This aids us as we strive to precisely direct the radiation beam at the tumor.

  • Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT). IMRT is used to deliver radiation therapy in most prostate cancer cases. A computer performs advanced calculations so a linear accelerator machine can deliver the radiation precisely to the tumor, while limiting the dose to nearby normal organs, such as the bladder and rectum. The radiation is delivered from multiple angles efficiently in two to three minutes. Image guidance (IGRT) is used before daily treatments to visualize the prostate, helping to confine the radiation dose to the prostate. You will receive treatments over multiple days.
  • Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT). SBRT is an alternative to surgery for a tumor in your prostate that hasn’t spread. Another name for this technique is stereotactic ablative radiotherapy ( SABR). High doses of radiation are delivered to the tumor via a linear accelerator while you lie on a treatment table. CT imaging precisely pinpoints the tumor’s exact location. This treatment uses multiple intensely focused radiation beams to efficiently destroy the localized tumor If your doctor has recommended SBRT, you will generally have two to five treatments, with each treatment taking about 20 to 25 minutes. SBRT may be used if there’s a recurrence of cancer. Advantages of this treatment option are that it is an outpatient procedure, there is no incision, and you do not have to stay in the hospital overnight.
  • Low-Dose-Rate (LDR) Brachytherapy. LDR brachytherapy uses low-energy, low-dose radioactive material that is placed inside the prostate permanently. Radioactive material is contained in tiny (3x1mm) seeds. Approximately 80 to 100 radioactive seeds contained in approximately 30 needles are placed inside the prostate by your radiation oncologist. This is a same-day procedure done in the operating room under general anesthesia. Most of the radiation dose is delivered to the prostate within six months of seed implant.

Along with these types of radiation therapy, we also offer the option of injecting a hydrogel substance between your prostate and rectum to spare your rectal area from high doses of radiation therapy. Hydrogel is a water-based gel that solidifies when injected and retains its shape for three months. It works by creating a space between the prostate and rectum, which helps to reduce and eliminate the radiation toxicity to the front rectum wall. The hydrogel starts breaking up after three months and completely dissolves by the end of six months. In appropriate cases, this practice has significantly reduced damage to the rectum that used to occur as a side effect of prostate cancer treatment. Ask your doctor if you are a candidate.

Therapy For Side Effects Of Urinary Incontinence Or Erectile Dysfunction

In some cases, side effects of prostate cancer treatment may include urinary incontinence and/or erectile dysfunction. In these cases, talk with your urologist, who can recommend therapy to help regain normal function. Our nurse navigator also can refer you to an expert in men's health who can assist with rehabilitation therapy for ongoing issues. 

Palliative Care

When treatments no longer are effective against cancer, Premier Health offers palliative care to help improve quality of life and ease the symptoms of cancer.

Clinical Trials

Our cancer specialists actively participate in regional, national, and international research networks. Clinical trials provide another option when standard treatments are not working. Our goal is to connect you with the latest advances in cancer care. Talk to your doctor about your clinical trial options and learn more about clinical trials at Premier Health. See a complete list of our current oncology clinical trials.  

Your Prostate Cancer Care Team

Treating prostate cancer requires a team approach. Our board-certified, fellowship-trained surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists communicate regularly to discuss your diagnosis, treatment plan, and treatment progress. We have specialized tumor conferences routinely to discuss complex cases.

Premier Health is a certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of MD Anderson Cancer Center, the top-ranked cancer center in the United States.

As an affiliate of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, Premier Health and our certified cancer specialists routinely discuss challenging cases with experts at MD Anderson Cancer Center. 

If you have an unusual or complex situation, your physician may consult with a cancer expert at MD Anderson to receive input on your case.

A nurse navigator will be your primary point of contact throughout diagnosis, treatment, and recovery, easing your cancer journey by guiding and linking you to additional services and information.

We also have pathologists to assist with diagnosis and cancer staging throughout your cancer journey. As needed, we will consult wound care and hyperbaric oxygen treatment for optimal tissue healing.

Contact Us

Our cancer team is here for you. Our cancer specialists have access to nationally recognized cancer care protocols and best practices, since Premier Health is a certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of MD Anderson Cancer Center. Our patients benefit from advanced local care backed by the world-renowned expertise of the nation’s leading cancer center. 

Call the Premier Health cancer hotline at (844) 316-HOPE(844) 316-4673 (4673), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to connect with a Premier Health cancer navigator.