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How is prostate cancer treated?

Treatment depends on the stage at which the cancer is found and on the age and health status of the patient. Surgery and radiation therapy are options for cancer that is confined to the prostate. Standard treatment involves either removal of the entire prostate gland (radical prostatectomy) or radiation therapy aimed at the pelvic area. Some patients, especially elderly men or men with unrelated severe medical problems, may choose to have no immediate treatment. There is currently no curative therapy for advanced prostate cancer; available treatments are aimed at slowing the spread of the disease and relieving symptoms.

Hormone therapy is most commonly used in metastatic prostate cancer, and may include orchiectomy (surgical removal of the testicles) or drugs that reduce the effects of male hormones. Clinical trials are ongoing for patients with all stages of prostate cancer .

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