Harvard Men's Health Watch

Radiation: Another treatment choice for prostate cancer

Used alone or with hormone therapy, radiation can be a viable option for men at any stage of prostate cancer.

mens health prostate
Image: BigStock

Nowadays, men diagnosed with prostate cancer are often given two treatment choices, on opposite ends of the spectrum. First is active surveillance, where you forgo immediate treatment and monitor the cancer's growth. The other is surgery to remove the cancerous prostate.

But an in-between option might be a better choice for men who do not want the anxiety of wait-and-see or the physical hardship of surgery: radiation therapy.

Some men may be turned off by radiation, as they see it as an intense type of treatment, but it has many upsides. "It is less invasive than surgery, and it allows you to preserve your prostate," says Dr. Paul Nguyen, an oncologist with Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital. "Essentially, any man considering surgery for prostate cancer is also likely eligible to be treated with radiation."

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