Treatment overview

When prostate cancer has spread beyond the prostate gland and is affecting other parts of the body, it can no longer be cured. However, treatment can usually be given to control the cancer for several years, relieve any symptoms, and improve your quality of life.

Hormonal therapy (also known as androgen deprivation therapy) is recommended to most men who have advanced prostate cancer. A range of hormonal therapies are available.

Chemotherapy may be used if hormonal therapy is no longer able to control the cancer. Sometimes chemotherapy is offered earlier.

Radiotherapy is often used to treat bone pain and may sometimes be used to treat other symptoms.

Surgery to remove the prostate gland isn’t suitable for men with advanced prostate cancer, but occasionally a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) can help to relieve problems with passing urine.

There are other treatments available that can effectively relieve and control any symptoms you may have.

Deciding on the best treatment isn’t always straightforward and a number of factors have to be taken into account. The most important of these are:

  • your general health
  • where the cancer is and the symptoms it’s causing
  • the possible benefits of treatment
  • the possible side effects of treatment
  • how you feel about treatment and whether you’re willing to risk getting the side effects for the possible benefits in controlling your cancer
  • whether you’ve had treatment before and, if so, which treatments.

Back to Understanding your diagnosis

Just been diagnosed

Just been diagnosed with cancer? We're here for you every step of the way. There are many ways we can help.

Staging and grading

The stage of your cancer describes its size and if it has spread. The grade describes how fast it is growing.