How Is Early Stage Prostate Cancer Treated

How Is Early Stage Prostate Cancer Treated?

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How Is Early Stage Prostate Cancer Treated? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

For early stage prostate cancer, what are the current treatment approaches? Expert Dr. Tanya Dorff explains common treatments and reviews factors that impact a patient’s options.

Dr. Tanya Dorff is Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research at City of Hope. Learn more about Dr. Dorff.


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When it is time to start treatment, what types of approaches are available for early stage prostate cancer patients? 

Dr. Dorff:

Localized prostate cancer or early stage prostate cancer can be cured with either surgery or radiation, and we actually view these to be equally effective options. Sometimes people have the misconception that if they’re getting radiation to treat their localized prostate cancer, they’re being relegated to a noncurative or a less effective option. It’s actually not the case. We don’t have truly good, randomized, head-to-head studies. 

You can find retrospective studies, people looking back at 2,000 patients treated at this institution or that institution, and you can find a study that pretty much says whatever you want it to. You can find some that say surgery’s better, some that say radiation’s better, but in sum, we sort of view them as being equally effective options. And so, they just have different side effect profiles, and so, we often counsel patients who are considering which local treatment to receive to look at what their current urinary function is, what their goals are for their long-term function, both urinary and sexual, and use that as a guide, as well as their age, their other health conditions, and those kinds of factors.