Prostate cancer

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Treatments for locally advanced prostate cancer

Locally advanced prostate cancer has grown through the covering of the prostate (called the capsule) to nearby tissue. Localized prostate cancer includes stage 3 and stage 4 disease that hasn’t spread to distant parts of the body.

The following are treatment options for locally advanced prostate cancer. Your healthcare team will suggest treatments based on your needs and work with you to develop a treatment plan.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is often used to treat locally advanced prostate cancer. It is usually given together with hormonal therapy.

External beam radiation therapy is a main treatment for locally advanced prostate cancer. It may also be given after a radical prostatectomy (called adjuvant radiation therapy) to lower the risk that the cancer will come back (recur).

Brachytherapy is a form of radiation therapy that uses a radioactive substance (radioactive isotope) placed directly into the tumour or very close to it (called an implant). It is sometimes given in combination with external beam radiation therapy.

Hormonal therapy

Hormonal therapy may be offered before, during and after radiation therapy for locally advanced prostate cancer. It may also be used alone as a main treatment for men who can’t have radiation therapy or surgery.

The following types of hormonal therapy are most often used to treat locally advanced prostate cancer:


You may be offered one of the following types of surgery for locally advanced prostate cancer.

Radical prostatectomy removes the prostate and some tissues around it. The surgeon may also remove lymph nodes from the pelvis (called a pelvic lymph node dissection) at the same time as doing a radical prostatectomy. Radiation therapy is sometimes given after a radical prostatectomy.

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) removes part of the prostate through the urethra. It may be used to:

  • relieve urinary problems caused by an enlarged prostate pressing on the urethra
  • reduce the size of the tumour before radiation therapy or hormonal therapy

Clinical trials

Many clinical trials in Canada are open to men with prostate cancer. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, find and treat cancer. Find out more about clinical trials.

luteinizing hormone–releasing hormone (LHRH)

A hormone that controls the production of sex hormones in males and females.

The hypothalamus produces luteinizing hormone–releasing hormone (LHRH), which stimulates the pituitary gland to produce luteinizing hormone (LH). In turn, LH stimulates the testicles to produce testosterone and the ovaries to produce estrogen and progesterone.

Also called gonadotropin-releasing hormone.