Prostate Cancer Radiation Therapy Guide

About 15% of all men born today will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lifetime. 220,000 Americans were diagnosed with prostate cancer in in 2015, and more than half of them will live to be at least 80 years old. With modern care, about 99% of prostate patients live for at least five years after they are diagnosed with cancer.

You may have seen several cancer doctors; they work together as a team to give you the best treatment. Your medical oncologist prescribes chemotherapy drugs (medicine that attacks cancer cells).

You may have seen a surgeon (urologist), who may perform a biopsy or prostatectomy (removing your prostate).

Your radiation oncologist will use high-tech machines to direct energy (in the form of radiation) to destroy cancer cells. Even if you’ve had surgery or chemotherapy, radiation therapy will reduce the chance that your cancer will come back in the treated area.

This handbook includes basic information about your treatment and a list of resources that you can rely on.

The most important tip is to communicate with your doctor and follow your doctor’s instructions.

Make sure you:

  • Go to every appointment on time,
  • Follow your doctor’s diet and skin care recommendations,
  • Contact your doctor immediately if you have any serious problems or side effects, and
  • Tell your doctor if you change your habits, medications, or are worried that something is wrong.