Prostate Cancer: Diagnosis & Treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering

Pictured: Peter Scardino, James Eastham, & Victor Reuter (From left) Surgeons Peter Scardino and James Eastham, with pathologist Victor Reuter, attend a weekly meeting of our prostate cancer disease management team.

More options exist today than ever before for the treatment of prostate cancer. Over the past two decades, earlier detection of prostate cancer has boosted the ten-year survival rate from 67 percent to more than 90 percent. Improvements in our understanding of the biology of the disease, along with advances in surgery, radiation therapy, and medical therapies, have made it possible to eliminate most localized prostate cancers, and to extend life for men with metastatic disease.

Understand Your Options

Not sure which treatment approach is right for you? Call 800-525-2225 to make an appointment with one of our doctors. We will provide a personalized assessment that considers both your diagnosis and your preferences.

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Because prostate cancer is a disease that may evolve over many years, there is no one single approach to treatment. Whether you have just been diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer, are experiencing a recurrence of cancer after treatment, or have more-advanced disease, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has the expertise to offer you the best chance to control or cure your cancer.

Each year, more than 3,700 men with prostate cancer come to Memorial Sloan Kettering for treatment. Our Sidney Kimmel Center for Prostate and Urologic Cancers is home to more than 30 urologic surgeons and medical oncologists who specialize in treating men with prostate cancer. Doctors from these and additional disciplines work as a team to diagnose and fully understand your disease. Armed with that information, we work with you to develop the best treatment approach for your cancer, one that offers you the optimal management of your disease and minimizes the side effects that can affect your quality of life. Specialists in sexual health and psychosocial services are also available to help you and your family through the challenges of treatment.

Leaders in Prostate Cancer Research

Memorial Sloan Kettering's prostate cancer treatment program is complemented by our extensive prostate cancer research efforts. More than 100 laboratory investigators and clinical scientists study the basic biology of the disease and are conducting research that will lead to improvements in our ability to detect and treat it. We are investigating new imaging approaches, immunotherapies, and other strategies, including molecular diagnostics that characterize the aggressiveness of an individual’s cancer and can help physicians to determine the best treatment approach.

In addition, many of our doctors are lead investigators in clinical trials that test new therapies and diagnostic methods in patients. This means that choosing Memorial Sloan Kettering for your cancer care may offer you the opportunity to participate in trials of innovative new approaches that are not widely available at other hospitals.

Specialized Services

If you are concerned about your risk of prostate cancer because others in your family have had the disease, or there is a high incidence of cancer in your family, experts on our Clinical Genetics Service are available to assess your risk and provide advice about screening and other options.

Our Integrative Medicine Service is also available to provide specialized services and therapies that complement traditional medical treatments and address the physical and emotional symptoms associated with cancer and its treatment. We offer group and individual therapies, including nutrition counseling, exercises, and touch therapies, and provide reliable information on supplements and their effects on cancer care.

Understanding Your Treatment Options

Memorial Sloan Kettering provides comprehensive treatment for prostate cancer at every point in the illness. We continually reassess your disease as it evolves and responds to treatment over time. This means that the approaches we recommend depend not only on your current disease status, but on the history of your prostate cancer, how aggressive it has been, the treatments you have already received, and your personal priorities and preferences. Learn more about how we plan your treatment.

There is a vast array of treatment options available for prostate cancer, and it is important to determine which approach is best for you. Even if you have already done research about different treatments, our doctors can help you to understand your options and will work with you to determine which treatment approaches would be most appropriate. Anyone can make an appointment with one of our prostate cancer doctors to learn more about your treatment options.

When you meet with one of our doctors, a critical first step is to ensure that you receive an accurate diagnosis and assessment of the extent of the cancer. We will provide a comprehensive, individualized medical review and will recommend an approach to care that is based on the clinical features of your cancer. Based on your diagnosis, your doctor may recommend one or a combination of treatments, including active surveillance, radical prostatectomy, radiation therapy, focal therapy, and systemic therapies.

Avoiding Overtreatment

A considerable proportion of the prostate cancers diagnosed today are “indolent”; that is, they are unlikely to cause symptoms, spread, or shorten a man’s life. At Memorial Sloan Kettering, we do not want to subject any patient to overtreatment –- in other words, unnecessary treatment –- of an indolent cancer. Overtreatment is not only of no benefit, it may even cause harm. By characterizing your cancer accurately, our doctors can provide you with appropriate options. In some cases this may mean deferring surgery or radiation therapy and carefully monitoring your disease.