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Other Treatments for Prostate Cancer

Active Surveillance

Some prostate cancers grow very slowly. They never cause problems or become serious. For such a slow-growing cancer, the pain, stress, and the harms of treatment may outweigh any benefits. But, it's not clear which type of prostate cancer grows at what rate. Once it’s found, your doctor will test you regularly to look for any symptoms that may suggest growth.

Targeted Therapy

Targeted therapy uses medicines to seek out and kill cancer cells. One type blocks the growth of new blood vessels that are needed to grow and spread. Targeted therapy may be used with other methods if the cancer is in later stages.

Some problems are:

Vaccine Therapy

This works by boosting the immune system. Then, it can find and kill cancer cells. It works much like a regular vaccine, but it is not preventive. It's mainly used in men who have had hormonal therapy without success.

Some problems are:

  • Fever or chills
  • Feeling tired
  • Back pain
  • Nausea
  • Joint pain or stiffness
  • Headache

Special Considerations

If you are taking medicines:

  • Take the medicine as directed. Don’t change the amount or the schedule.
  • Ask what side effects could occur. Report them to your doctor.
  • Talk to your doctor before you stop taking any prescription medicine.
  • Don’t share your prescription medicine.
  • Medicines can be dangerous when mixed. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking more than one medicine. This includes over-the-counter products and supplements.
  • Plan for refills as needed.

Androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: Updated May 15, 2018. Accessed October 30, 2018.

Angiogenesis inhibitors. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: Updated April 2, 2018. Accessed October 30, 2018.

Prostate cancer. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: Updated October 2017. Accessed October 30, 2018.

Smith DP, King MT, Egger S, et al. Quality of life three years after diagnosis of localised prostate cancer: population based cohort study. BMJ. 2009;339:b4817.

Treatment option overview. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: Updated October 12, 2018. Accessed October 30, 2018.

Watchful waiting or active surveillance for prostate cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: Updated March 11, 2016. Accessed October 30, 2018.

Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP  Last Updated: 10/30/2018