Prostate Cancer Program

Many effective prostate cancer treatments are available.

Call 503-215-6014 to request more information.

Prostate Cancer Treatment

Providence Cancer Institute offers a wide range of treatment options for patients with prostate cancer, including different types of radiation therapy and surgery. Your doctor also may recommend “watchful waiting,” which means you visit the doctor regularly to monitor your prostate cancer and see if you need treatment.


Prostate Cancer Treatment

Providence Cancer Institute offers a wide range of treatment options for patients with prostate cancer, including different types of radiation therapy and surgery. Your doctor also may recommend “watchful waiting,” which means you visit the doctor regularly to monitor your prostate cancer and see if you need treatment.

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Prostate cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in the tissues of a man’s prostate gland. The prostate gland is a walnut-shaped organ below a man's bladder that creates fluid for semen.

About 1 in 6 men will develop prostate cancer in his lifetime, and it’s most common in men older than 65. It’s the most common type of cancer in American men. The good news is the disease is very manageable and often can be cured. More than 99 percent of men with prostate cancer will live more than five years after being diagnosed.

Symptoms include:
  • Problems when you urinate, such as:
    • Not being able to urinate
    • Having a hard time starting or stopping the flow of urine
    • Having to urinate often, especially at night
    • Having pain or burning during urination
  • Difficulty having an erection
  • Blood in your urine or semen
  • Deep and frequent pain in your lower back, belly, hip or pelvis
How to treat prostate cancer

Providence Cancer Institute offers a wide range of treatment options for patients with prostate cancer, including different types of radiation therapy and surgery. Your doctor also may recommend “watchful waiting,” which means you visit the doctor regularly to monitor your prostate cancer and see if you need treatment. Please discuss these options with your doctor to determine what will work best for you.

We offer the latest types of radiation treatments for men with prostate cancer. This includes therapies that involve higher doses of radiation, such as “external beam radiotherapy” and “brachytherapy.” Higher doses of radiation therapy have been shown to improve patients’ chances of being completely cured. Traditional lower dose treatments also are available.

This involves high doses of radiation given daily, usually over seven to nine weeks, and focuses radiation beams on the prostate. Specific types of external beam radiotherapy include:

  • Volumetric modulated arc radiotherapy (VMAT) that delivers quick external beam treatments over a few minutes each weekday for several weeks. X-rays are done daily to make sure the target is accurate and that nearby normal tissue isn’t affected.
  • Hypofractionated radiotherapy increases the radiation dose per day and is best for certain types of patients. Treatments usually last four to six weeks.
  • MR Linac is cutting-edge technology that allows your doctor to track, and dose, your tumor in real time, greatly decreasing the amount of radiation to healthy tissue and organs. Learn more.

This type of treatment also involves high doses of radiation and treats the cancer by placing radioactive material directly into the prostate. Depending on your situation, brachytherapy may be used alone, combined with external beam radiotherapy, and/or hormone therapy. Radiation dose from brachytherapy can be delivered at different rates – both low-dose-rate (LDR) or high-dose-rate (HDR).

Temporary high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy - This is a new and highly effective type of brachytherapy treatment. Recent studies have shown that the HDR technique improves cure rates for prostate cancer while also sparing nearby normal tissue. A single small radioactive dose is placed in a narrow tube called a catheter. The catheter is then placed into the prostate by your radiation oncologist. You will be under anesthesia and will not feel pain. Special computer software controls where and for how long the radiation is delivered. This helps target the prostate cancer very precisely. The catheter is then removed. Once the treatment is complete, there is no radioactivity left in your body and there is no need for radiation safety precautions. You usually can go home shortly after the procedure, and you can continue your normal activities with few restrictions.

This treatment has been used for many years for some men with prostate cancer. Permanent small metal “seeds” are inserted directly into the prostate gland. The seeds are temporarily radioactive and send radiation to the prostate over several months. During the first two or three months after the implant, men are asked to limit close contact with children and pregnant women. After two to three months, the seeds lose their radioactivity and are then harmless.

Surgery is a common choice to try to cure prostate cancer if it hasn’t spread outside the prostate gland.

The main type of surgery for prostate cancer is called a radical prostatectomy. The surgeon removes the entire prostate gland plus some of the tissue around it, including the seminal vesicles, which create most of the fluid found in semen.

Chemotherapy is the use of medications to kill cancer cells. Different chemotherapy medications destroy cancer cells by a variety of different mechanisms. Many work on the DNA of a cell to prevent it from reproducing, while others deprive cancer cells of what they need to grow.

Hormones control the growth and activity of body cells. Most prostate cancers depend on testosterone, the major male hormone, to grow. Hormone therapy removes hormones or blocks their action and stops cancer cells from growing. The testosterone levels can be reduced either by surgery (bilateral orchiectomy) or drugs.

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Prostate Cancer Screening: Saves Lives

Get the facts and risk factors of prostate cancer, so you can reduce your risk! (Available in various languages.)

Why Choose Us for Your Cancer Care?

We know that every patient is unique. No two patients – or their treatment plans – are alike. This is why we take a highly personalized approach to cancer care, and we always put our patients first. Our cancer specialists are at the forefront of innovative, state-of-the-art technologies and treatment options.  We partner with you to develop specialized treatment plans that fit your needs and provide the best outcomes. At Providence Cancer Institute of Oregon, some of our advanced treatments include:

  • Complete genomic sequencing to determine the unique genetic composition of your cancer and the most effective treatments 
  • World-class immunotherapy capabilities, including adoptive cell therapy, CAR T-cell therapy, TIL therapy and high-dose IL-2 
  • Targeted therapies, including oral and infusion chemotherapy
  • State-of-the-art, minimally invasive surgical options, including robotic- assisted surgery and advanced surgical oncology research through biomedical engineering technology
  • A comprehensive Radiation Oncology Program, with state-of-the-art external beam and internal radiation therapy treatments, including the only MRI linear accelerator in the Pacific Northwest, Gamma Knife Perfexion, HDR Brachytherapy and more
  • A robust clinical trials portfolio of early phase studies developed by our world-renowned researchers and cooperative group studies sponsored by the National Cancer Institute
  • Genetic counseling and testing for cancer risk assessment, prevention, early detection and treatment planning
  • An award-winning Cardio-Oncology Program to minimize the cardiovascular side effects of cancer treatments
  • Evidence-based complementary medicine such as naturopathy, massage therapy and acupuncture through our Integrative Medicine Program

You will have access to unsurpassed support at every stage of your treatment, adding an extra dimension of care to help fight cancer. Our oncology nurse navigators, social workers, dietitians and spiritual care providers help guide you through treatment and promote health on every level — body, mind and spirit. As an added layer of support, our Oncology Resource Specialists provide free, personalized assistance to patients, families and care partners. These caregivers will help you navigate and use the many resources available throughout the community and through Providence.

Learn more about our cancer support services.

Cancer doesn’t discriminate, but access to great cancer care hasn’t always been the same for everyone. At Providence, we are deeply committed to making sure every patient we treat has access to the best cancer care. We value, respect and support the racial, ethnic, religious, gender, sexual and spiritual identities of each member of our diverse community, and we never turn a patient away. Instead, we work to make sure every patient is treated equally and with dignity – whoever you are, and wherever you are in your journey.

When you become a patient at Providence, you become part of a collaborative cancer-care network. Our care often exceeds national measures for patient outcomes. We have award-winning doctors, scientists, researchers and caregivers across 51 hospitals in seven states. The skills of your local team and the power of this network add up to the best, most compassionate care. And if you need to meet with a specialist outside your area, we have telehealth technology to help. Our network and superior care are among the reasons 6,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients choose Providence Cancer Institute of Oregon each year.

Through our pioneering research, we have helped make cancer immunotherapy a new standard of care. Our globally renowned team of physician researchers and scientists at Earle A. Chiles Research Institute offers hope to patients and families.


Part of Providence Cancer Institute of Oregon

Providence Cancer Institute is a leading provider of cancer care in Oregon, and part of the largest community-based cancer-care network in the United States. Regardless of where you go for care, you have an entire team of cancer experts working together to provide a personalized, whole-person approach to your care. At Providence we see more than a cancer diagnosis, we see the life in you and are committed to helping you live well again.

Learn More About the Providence Cancer Institute of Oregon

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