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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Prostate cancer diagnostics and treatment

At each of our hospitals, you'll find innovative prostate cancer treatments and technologies—all under one roof. Our prostate cancer experts use state-of-the-art diagnostic tools, including advanced imaging and laboratory tests, to evaluate prostate cancer. This diagnostic evaluation takes about three to five days.

Then together, we develop a comprehensive prostate cancer treatment plan that works for you. Your individualized plan will include advanced medical treatments and technologies, combined with supportive care services to help reduce side effects and keep you strong in body, mind and spirit.

Treatment Options

Choosing a treatment option is among the most important decisions you will make when dealing with prostate cancer.  Learn more about the various treatments for prostate cancer along with the potential pros and cons of each along with the common short-term and long-term complications.

Prostate cancer treatment is offered at our cancer hospitals in or near AtlantaPhiladelphiaTulsaPhoenix and Chicago.

NOTE: The information below is based on rates of common occurrences. Advantages, disadvantages and side effects may vary from patient to patient and are not guaranteed. For more information, talk to your physician.

* Sources: American Society of Radiation Oncology, American Cancer Society

Active surveillance for prostate cancer

Active surveillance may be an option for patients with very low or low-risk prostate cancer or a life expectancy of less than five years.

  • No surgery involved
  • No hospital stay required
  • Imaging technology offers more accurate monitoring capabilities
  • No surgery or radiation therapy-related side effects like urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction
  • Less proactive
  • Potential for repeat biopsies
  • Potential for cancer to spread
  • Frequent follow-ups with doctors for blood, rectal and other tests
  • Potential for further treatment if cancer begins to grow
  • Potential for anxiety, worry or other psychological stress
Learn More About Active surveillance

Surgery for prostate cancer

Surgical treatments for prostate cancer may be an option for men who qualify based on their overall health and other factors. Surgery is designed to remove the cancer through an open (traditional) operation or with robotic equipment.

  • Patients with localized cancer may need no further treatment
  • Simultaneous biopsy allows for more accurate staging
  • Post-surgical PSA levels reliably predict recurrence of cancer
  • Fewer bowel or rectal side effects than with radiation treatments
  • Lower risk of urinary urgency and frequency than with radiation treatments 
  • Potential for surgery-related risks, including side effects from general anesthesia
  • Overnight hospitalization required
  • Catheter required for one or two weeks
  • Potential for long-term sexual changes, including dry orgasms, pain during orgasm and shortened penis
  • Leakage of urine from bladder, or stool from bladder (incontinence)
  • Shortening of penis
  • Chronic leakage of urine from bladder
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Groin hernia
Learn More About Surgery

Chemotherapy for prostate cancer

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells or restrict their growth. It is prescribed in cases of recurrent or advanced prostate cancer.

  • Designed to slow the growth of prostate cancer
  • May reduce cancer-related symptoms including pain, fatigue and loss of energy
  • Long list of potential side effects
  • Hair loss
  • Mouth sores
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased chance of infections (from having too few white blood cells)
  • Easy bruising or bleeding (from having too few blood platelets)
  • Fatigue (from having too few red blood cells)

Certain side effects are seen more often with specific chemotherapy drugs, including severe allergic reactions, nerve damage, numbness, tingling or burning sensations in the hands or feet, and an increased risk of blood clots.

Learn More About Chemotherapy

External beam radiation therapy

External beam radiation therapy uses high-energy beams outside the body to reduce or eliminate tumors inside the body.

  • No hospital stay required
  • No surgery-related risks
  • No incisions
  • No anesthesia
  • No pain
  • No restriction of activities post-procedure
  • Low risk of urinary incontinence
  • Short treatments (15 to 25 minutes each)
  • Lower risk of sexual dysfunction
  • No post-treatment staging information provided by treatment
  • Daily treatments required for five to eight weeks
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Painful urination
  • Urinary leakage
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Some risk of erectile dysfunction
  • Changes in bowel habits, including fecal incontinence
  • Secondary cancers in the treated area
  • Rectal bleeding
Learn More About External beam radiation therapy


Immunotherapy is designed to boost the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells in late-stage cancers.

  • Helps identify prostate cancer cells
  • Minimally invasive procedure
  • Leads to lower levels of toxicity than chemotherapy
  • Does not lower PSA or produce measurable response
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting Fatigue
  • Hypertension
  • Increased heart rate
  • Vomiting
  • Anemia
Learn More About Immunotherapy

Brachytherapy for prostate cancer

Brachytherapy, also called seed implantation, is a form of radiation therapy used to treat prostate cancer. There are two types of brachytherapy: low-dose rate and high-dose rate brachytherapy.

  • No hospital  stay required
  • Less radiation damage to healthy tissue
  • No need for repeat treatments
  • Low risk of urinary incontinence
  • Targeted radiation directed at the prostate to reduce risk of damage to surrounding tissue (nerves, bladder, rectum)
  • No post-treatment staging information offered via treatment
  • May be used with external beam radiation
  • Pain 
  • Burning during urination 
  • Urinary retention 
  • Blood in urine 
  • Frequent urination
  • Return to pre-operative urinary function for many
  • Some risk of erectile dysfunction 
  • Narrowing of the urethra (urethral stenosis)
  • Rectal bleeding (rare)
Learn More About Brachytherapy

Hormone therapy for prostate cancer

Hormone therapy, also known as androgen deprivation therapy or ADT, is designed to stop testosterone from fueling cancer growth.

  • No hospitalization or surgery involved
  • Numerous potential side effects
  • Not curative when used alone
  • May be curative when used with radiation or brachytherapy
  • Hot flashes
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Decreased bone mass
  • Decreased mental capacity
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Impaired sexual function
  • Loss of desire for sex (libido)
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Itching
  • Weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Some patients may not return to pre-treatment testosterone levels.
Learn More About Hormone therapy

Stereotactic body radiosurgery for prostate cancer

Stereotactic body radiosurgery (SBRT) is a form of radiation that focuses high-power energy on a small area of the body. Despite its name, radiosurgery is a treatment, not a surgical procedure.

When SRS is used to treat body tumors, it is called stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT).

  • Non-surgical procedure
  • No incisions
  • No hospitalization
  • Little recovery time
  • Treatment takes days, not weeks
  • Typically recommended for men with low-risk to intermediate risk prostate cancer
  • Does not provide staging info
  • Fewer studies to prove effectiveness
  • Temporary urinary frequency
  • Possible mild fatigue and nausea 
  • Pain
  • Burning during urination
  • Urinary retention
  • Some risk of erectile dysfunction
  • Urinary Obstruction
  • Urinary incontinence (very rare)
Learn More About Stereotactic radiosurgery
Last Revised: 07/27/2017

Advanced genomic testing

genomic tumor assessment

We use advanced genomic testing to examine a patient's tumor on a cellular level. This innovative tool can help us find what's driving the cancer's growth and offer patients more precise treatment.

A personalized treatment plan

a personalized treatment plan

Our doctors work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs and diagnosis.

Have a question about treatment options?

Call or chat with an oncology information specialist. We're here 24/7.

(888) 552-6760

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