The treatment of prostate cancer: an overview of current options

Cancer Pract. Nov-Dec 2001;9(6):295-306. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-5394.2001.96009.x.


Purpose: The purpose of this report is to discuss the current treatment options available to the patient with prostate cancer in all stages of the disease.

Overview: With the exception of skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the United States. Most patients in the current era will present with organ-confined disease, amenable to curative treatment. Treatment for organ-confined disease includes watchful waiting, radical prostatectomy, radiation therapy, and cryosurgery in selective cases. Hormone therapy is the cornerstone of treatment of patients with advanced prostate cancer. There is no curative treatment for hormone-refractory prostate cancer.

Clinical implications: The availability of several therapeutic options for localized prostate cancer warrants careful consideration when planning treatment with curative intent. Patients need to be active participants in decision making, and they must be aware of the benefits and possible complications of the different types of treatment. Patients with advanced prostate cancer need to be aware that hormone treatment will provide temporization and palliation in the majority of cases. Hormone-resistant prostate cancer is refractory to most forms of conventional and experimental therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Androgen Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Brachytherapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatectomy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Antineoplastic Agents