There are many ways prostate cancer can be treated, and the evidence-based plan your doctors choose is based on a number of factors: type of cancer, grade and stage of the cancer, your overall health, and your treatment preferences. Doctors will also consider your PSA value and how fast it is increasing.
Active Surveillance (Watchful Waiting)
If your prostate cancer is determined to be low-risk, the best course of action may be to postpone treatment and watch carefully to see if the disease progresses.
What is a low-risk cancer?
- A low-risk prostate cancer either grows very slowly or not at all. It is not an agressive form of prostate cancer.
What is the benefit of postponing treatment?
- In cases of low-risk cancer, treatment may be postponed in order to avoid over-treatment. Some patients can avoid surgery or radiation all together.
What if my prostate cancer starts to advance/progress?
- Your doctor will closely monitor your cancer. If there are changes, which would show up in repeat PSA testing, DRE testing, or biopsies, your doctor will develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Is there scientific evidence supporting this approach?
- Yes, the American Urological Association and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommend active surveillance in carefully-selected cases.
The expert physicians at Middlesx Urology Group provide surgical treatment for prostate cancer patients at Middlesex Health. Surgical options include:
- Radical Prostatectomy: A treatment for localized cancer (in or near the prostate) that includes removal of:
- the prostate
- some surrounding tissue (if needed)
- nearby lymph nodes in the pelvis (if needed)
- daVinci® SI Robot-Assisted Surgery: A robotic system used by specially trained Middlesex Health Surgeons to complete complex surgeries through just a few tiny incisions.
- Hormone Therapy: Androgen Deprivation Thearpy (ADT)
- Some male hormones, such as testosterone (an androgen), feed the development and growth of prostate cancer. Removing or blocking these hormones will cause most prostate cancers to shrink.
- Anti-androgens are available as oral or injectable medications.
- Orchiectomy, or surgical removal of the testicles, is also an option for men with advanced disease or who do not want long term medical thearpy. Because testicles produce the body's testosterone, there removal immediately causes the body's hormone levels to drop.
- Chemotherapy & Immunotherapy
Chemotherapy for prostate cancer involves the use of medications to shrink or kill cancerous cells. These medications may be taken intravenously (IV) or as pills.
The board-certified medical oncologists, nurses, and technicians at Connecticut Oncology Group provide the most effective, advanced care with warm, personal attention and support for patients and their families. Your medical oncology team will work closely with your other providers and help provide access to clinical trials.
Radiation oncology is the highly-controlled use of radiation to cure or treat symptoms of your cancer.
Learn more about radiation therapy options at Middlesex
- High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU): A treatment that destroys prostate cancer using ultrasound. This is an outpatient procedure under ultrasound guidance and general anesthesia.
- Cryotherapy: This method destroys prostate cancer by freezing it. Middlesex Health does not offer this service; if you are interested, please speak with your doctor.