Localized Prostate Cancer
If you are diagnosed with localized prostate cancer, your doctor can recommend treating the cancer with conservative management, radical prostatectomy, radiation therapy, or new experimental techniques. Each treatment has its own advantages and disadvantages. The choice depends on your individual situation.
This section describes the different treatment options which you should discuss with your doctor.
This is general information, which is not specified to your individual needs. Keep in mind that individual recommendations may depend on your country and health care system.
What is localized prostate cancer?
Localized prostate cancer refers to a tumour which is limited to the prostate and has not extended to other parts of your body. It may be a T1 or T2 tumour, depending on its size and where it is located in the prostate.
T1 means that the tumour is too small to be felt during a digital rectal examination (DRE) or seen on a scan. T1 tumours are confirmed with a biopsy and assigned an a, b, or c based on the analysis of the pathologist.
A T2 tumour means that prostate cancer can be felt during a DRE, but is still limited to the prostate. Your doctor will also assign an a, b, or c to this stage, depending on the size of the tumour and whether it is in one or more lobes of the prostate (Fig. 1 and 2).
The most common treatment options for localized prostate cancer are conservative management, radical prostatectomy, and radiation therapy. Which treatment pathway is best for you depends on:
- The tumour characteristics
- Your medical history
- Your age
- The kind of treatment available at your hospital
- Your personal preferences and values
- The support network available to you
In conservative management the doctor monitors the tumour and its growth and recommends further treatment when necessary. This treatment is generally indicated when the tumour has a low Gleason score.
Radical prostatectomy is the surgical treatment in which the entire prostate and the seminal vesicles are removed.
Your doctor could also recommend radiation therapy. This therapy damages and kills cancer cells. You may be treated with external beam radiation therapy or brachytherapy.