To describe treatment options for clinically localized prostate cancer: radical prostatectomy, prostate brachytherapy, external beam radiation, and active surveillance.
Quality of evidence
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) outcomes presented are from non-randomized, cohort, and other comparisons trials (level II evidence). We describe PSA outcomes from Canadian centres when they are available. One small randomized controlled trial (level I evidence) in localized prostate cancer is available to compare radical prostatectomy with brachytherapy.
Treatment choice in prostate cancer is based on initial PSA level, clinical stage of disease, and Gleason score, together with baseline urinary function, comorbidities, and patient age. In this article, we describe patients’ eligibility for and the common side effects of all treatment options. Prostate brachytherapy and active surveillance have evolved as new standard treatments of localized prostate cancer. We give a brief overview of the brachytherapy procedure, side effects, and PSA outcomes across Canada, as well as active surveillance guidelines.
Prostate cancer treatment requires a multidisciplinary approach, with input from both urology and radiation oncology. Input from family physicians is often as important in helping guide patients through the treatment decision process.