It is possible that prostate cancer comes back after you have been treated. This is known as recurrence. The cancer may come back in the prostate, in tissue around the prostate or pelvic lymph nodes, or in other parts of the body.
The follow-up treatment pathway depends on where the cancer is. Your doctor will recommend imaging tests such as CT, MRI, PET scan or bone scans to locate the tumour, identify its characteristics, and determine treatment.
If you have been treated with radical prostatectomy and the PSA level in your blood rises, this could be a sign of recurrence. Your doctor may recommend salvage radiation therapy. In this procedure, the area where the prostate was located will be radiated to kill cancer cells. If radiation therapy is not the best option for you, your doctor can recommend hormonal therapy.
If your cancer was treated with radiation therapy, your doctor may recommend to treat recurrence with radical prostatectomy. If the PSA level rises quickly, or you have symptoms, hormonal therapy will be recommended. In some countries, brachytherapy is available to treat recurrence as an alternative to hormonal therapy.
If you have been treated with experimental techniques, discuss with your doctor which treatment option is best for you.