Treatment plans personalised to you

Your treatment options and recommendations will depend on the grade and stage of your cancer and your general health. Our multidisciplinary team (MDT) of prostate cancer experts will recommend the best treatment plan for your individual cancer. 

Your Consultant and Clinical Nurse Specialist will discuss the recommended treatment options with you in detail, they will be able to explain the treatments as well as the possible side effects, they can answer any questions you may have and make sure you have all the information you need before deciding if you would like to go ahead.

Surgery

A radical prostatectomy is a surgical procedure to remove your prostate gland. This is a highly effective treatment for localised prostate cancer, where the cancer is contained within the prostate gland, or for localised to locally advanced prostate cancer, where the cancer has not spread very far outside the prostate gland.

Advancements in surgical techniques means that, where clinically possible, minimally invasive surgery, known as robotic, laparoscopic or often keyhole surgery are now considered the gold standard surgical treatment for a radical prostatectomy. Minimally invasive surgery usually means less time in hospital and faster recovery times. 

Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer uses radiation to destroy cancer cells. You may be recommended either external-beam radiotherapy or internal radiotherapy. As part of your personalised treatment plan your clinical team will look at which technique is best suited to your individual cancer, with the aim of reducing side-effects whilst providing the best clinical outcome. 

External-beam radiotherapy

External-beam radiotherapy - for example, intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) - uses high energy X-rays to target and destroy cancer cells. Radiotherapy can be used to treat prostate cancer which has not spread outside of, or very far from, the prostate. It can also be used to relieve the symptoms of prostate cancer which has spread. 

Brachytherapy

Brachytherapy is a type of internal radiotherapy in which a small radioactive material, called a source, is put into your body, either inside or very close to your cancer.

Seed implantation is used to treat localised low- and medium-risk cancer, and involves dozens of tiny ‘seeds’ of radioactive iodine being implanted into the prostate gland, so that the radiotherapy can destroy the cancer cells without distributing an excessive dose to the surrounding organs. The seeds remain in the prostate and release their radiation slowly over many months, with relatively minor side effects. 

Hormone therapy

Your hormones stimulate the growth of cancer in your prostate. In particular, prostate cancer needs the male hormone testosterone to enable it to grow.

Given as injections or tablets, or as a combination, the purpose of hormone therapy is to reduce or block the levels of testosterone in your body, which prevents it from fuelling the prostate cancer cells. 

You may receive hormone therapy at the same time as radiotherapy, this is to increase the chance of successful treatment and to reduce the chances of cancerous cells returning following radiotherapy treatment. 

Hormone therapy can make prostate cancers shrink or slow down their growth, but hormone therapy on its own does not cure prostate cancer. This treatment is commonly used in advanced prostate cancer to slow its progression and relieve symptoms.

Trans-urethal resection of the prostate (TURP)

In some cases, your prostate cancer can press on the tube that carries urine from your bladder and out of your penis (urethra), which can make it difficult for you to empty your bladder. TURP is a surgical procedure which is used to manage symptoms of prostate cancer by relieving the pressure on your urethra, so that you can pass urine more easily. During TURP, a thin metal wire is inserted through your urethra to remove the obstructing part of your prostate. 

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)

HIFU uses high frequency sound waves to destroy targeted areas of cancer cells in your prostate. 

During HIFU treatment a probe is gently passed into your back passage (rectum). Once in place, the probe creates high-frequency ultrasound energy which heats the affected area of your prostate and destroys the cancer cells. HIFU might be recommended to you if your cancer hasn’t spread outside your prostate or has a low risk of spreading. It is also sometimes an option if your prostate cancer has started to spread to the area just outside the prostate or has a high risk of spreading. 

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy uses very cold temperatures to freeze and destroy cancer cells. 

During cryotherapy little probes are gently inserted into your back passage (rectum). Once in place they are used to freeze and destroy the prostate cancer cells. Cryotherapy may be recommended if your cancer has returned following radiotherapy. It may also be used if you have a low risk or early-stage cancer which has not spread outside of the prostate and are unable to have surgery or radiotherapy. 

Treatment for advanced prostate cancer

Sometimes your cancer may reach an advanced stage where it is no longer possible to cure it. Treatment at this stage may be used to slow the progression of your cancer, extend your life and control your symptoms.

Treatment for advanced prostate cancer will usually include:

  • Radiotherapy
  • Hormone treatment 
  • Chemotherapy 
 
GP with patient

Getting a second opinion

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, whether or not you have started treatment, a second opinion can give you reassurance and peace of mind.  

Our second opinion service is led by expert consultants.  They will provide a comprehensive review of your current and past medical history, to identify the best treatment options for you. This review may identify new treatment options or simply confirm you are already receiving the best treatment.  Either way it can help you make an informed decision about what is best for you.
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