Prostate Cancer Home > Radiation Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Treating prostate cancer with high-energy rays to kill cancer cells is called radiation therapy. There are two types: external radiation and internal radiation. Radiation treatment for prostate cancer may be used after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells in the area. Side effects are possible, which your doctor will explain to you in detail.

Radiation Treatment for Prostate Cancer: An Overview

Several treatment options exist for men with prostate cancer. The option that is best for one man may not be best for another.
Prostate cancer treatments other than radiation may involve:
You may have a combination of treatment methods.

How Does It Work?

Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. It affects cells only in the treated area.
For early-stage prostate cancer, radiation treatment may be used instead of surgery. This may also be used after surgery to destroy any cancer cells remaining in the area.
In later stages, radiation treatment for prostate cancer may be used to help relieve pain.

Types of Radiation Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Doctors use two types of radiation to treat prostate cancer:
  • External radiation
  • Internal radiation (also called implant radiation or brachytherapy).
Some men receive both types.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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