Prostate cancer: treatment

The treatment for prostate cancer depends on how far it has spread, the age of the patient and the size of the tumour. 


There are numerous types of treatment for prostate cancer. The choice depends on various factors and thus presents a “tailored” method of care, taking into account: 
- the characteristics of the tumour itself; 
- the characteristics of the prostate; 
- potential urinary symptoms; 
- other conditions the patient is suffering from; 
- the patient’s lifestyle. 
Surgery is used in low-risk, localised forms of prostate cancer (i.e. without metastases). It consists of the removal of the prostate. The problems associated with this procedure are its potential complications. Bladder weakness often occurs, but is usually temporary. Impotence occurs frequently (between 40% and 80% of cases): this is often hard for patients to deal with.
Radiotherapy is also indicated in localised forms of prostate cancer, either through external radiation or through the implantation of radioactive seeds into the prostate, which is a low-risk option available to patients with a small prostate. In the case of an aggressive tumour, external radiotherapy is given in combination with androgen suppression hormone therapy. The rays emitted destroy the cancerous cells. Impotence is also a complication, but it is less frequent and sometimes only occurs later. In these forms, it is also possible to emit high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) via a probe inserted into the rectum. This ultrasound destroys the cancerous cells. This is a technique preferred by older patients whose cancer is less aggressive. 
Active monitoring, i.e. the absence of immediate treatment, is sometimes considered in these forms: depending on the patient and where the cancer displays less aggressive evolution.

Last updated: 11/05/2019

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