IMProving Access, Counseling & Treatment For Californians with Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer Treatment Options

3D Conformal Beam Therapy

3D conformal beam radiation therapy use high energy rays such as x-rays or high energy particles that are too tiny to see to kill the cancer cells. The beam from the radiation machine is focused so that it kills mainly the prostate cancer cells, not the normal cells.


Brachytherapy is a type of radiation treatment that works from inside your body to kill prostate cancer cells. Brachytherapy is also called internal radiation therapy or seed implantation. Brachytherapy is used to treat prostate cancer in its early stages when it has not moved out of the prostate gland.


Chemotherapy is the use of powerful anti-cancer drugs to kill your prostate cancer cells. When prostate cancer begins to grow while a man is having hormone therapy your doctor may suggest chemotherapy as a treatment option. While the chemotherapy will not cure the prostate cancer, it may slow the cancer's growth. Men should discuss the potential risks and benefits of this type of treatment with their doctor.

Hormone Therapy

Hormone treatment is used to lower the amount of male hormones in a man's body. These male hormones are called androgens. Androgens are made mainly in the testicles. Decreasing androgens can cause prostate cancer to shrink or grow more slowly. This treatment will not cure the cancer, but will control it.

IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy):

a type of external beam radiation therapy. With IMRT your doctor uses a computer to plan the exact dose (or amount) of radiation that is aimed at your prostate cancer. The computer uses information about the size, shape, and location of your prostate cancer to figure out how much radiation is needed to kill your prostate cancer cells. IMRT uses high doses of radiation to kill your prostate cancer cells while protecting the healthy cells that surround your prostate cancer.

Radical Prostatectomy

A radical prostatectomy is an operation where a surgeon removes the entire prostate gland and surrounding lymph nodes.

Watchful Waiting / Active Surveillance

In this approach, a man's physician carefully monitors the progress of the prostate cancer. Usually this method of treatment is used only when the prostate cancer is been determined to be very slow-growing. The man's PSA (Prostate-Specific-Antigen) level is checked regularly and if the PSA level starts to rise then other treatment options are explored.