Table of Contents
- What is the Prostate?
- What does it do
- What is Prostate Cancer?
- Black Men and Prostate Cancer
- Other Factors
- Risk Factors
- Other Prostate Conditions
- Screening and PSA Test
- Digital Rectal Exam
- Biopsy and Other Tests
- Diagnosis and Staging
- Grading with Gleason Score
- I’ve Been Diagnosed… Now What?
- Active Surveillance
- Other Treatments
- Cost of Treatment in Ontario
- Side Effects
- Lifestyle Changes
- Sexual Health
- For Caregivers: Friends and Family
- What to do Next
There are multiple treatment options for prostate cancer. The two most common treatments are surgery and radiation therapy. The degree and choice of your treatment will depend on the stage of prostate cancer. It is important to learn as much as you can about your options, weigh their benefits and risks, and discuss it with others such as various specialists (such as a urologist, oncologists, radiologists) and your doctor. It is recommended to get the opinion of multiple specialists, especially from at least one surgeon and one radiation oncologist.
Surgery (Radical prostatectomy)
Radical prostatectomy removes the prostate and some tissues around it, including the seminal vesicles. It is the type of surgery most commonly used to treat prostate cancer.
There are different types of radical prostatectomy including:
- retropubic radical prostatectomy
- perineal radical prostatectomy
- laparoscopic radical prostatectomy
- robotic radical prostatectomy
- nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy
Radiation therapy uses precise, high-energy rays to damage cancer cells and kill them. It has a similar cure rate as surgery. An advantage of radiation therapy is non-invasive and may have decreased side effects.
There are two main types of radiation therapy:
- External Beam Therapy – having the radiation beam from outside the body
- Brachytherapy – having the radiation beam from inside the body.
- Low dose brachytherapy is usually what is used first if possible, using radioactive seeds inside the prostate to kill the cancer, but only under certain criteria.
- High dose brachytherapy uses small rods that are inserted to the affected area to emit radiation and then removed. High dose brachytherapy is more flexible and able to be offered to more men.
Online Support Tool
The following is an online support tool for those diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer to help them navigate through treatment decisions. This was developed in partnership by TrueNTH Canada, Prostate Cancer Canada (now a part of the Canadian Cancer Society), Queen’s University and the Movember Foundation.