Why it's done

Your doctor may recommend external beam radiation for prostate cancer as an option at different times during your cancer treatment and for different reasons, including:

  • As the only (primary) treatment for cancer, usually for early-stage cancer that is confined to your prostate
  • In combination with other treatments, such as hormone therapy, for more-serious cancer that's still confined to your prostate
  • After surgery, to reduce the risk of cancer returning (adjuvant therapy)
  • After surgery, when there is indication that your cancer has recurred either in the form of increased levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in your blood or clinical evidence of cancer in your pelvis
  • To alleviate symptoms, such as bone pain, caused by advanced cancer that has spread beyond the prostate
May 18, 2016
  1. External beam therapy (EBT). Radiological Society of North America. http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=ebt. Accessed Apr. 1, 2016.
  2. DiBiase SJ, et al. External beam radiation therapy for localized prostate cancer. http://www.uptodate.com/home/. Accessed April 1, 2016.
  3. Wein AJ, et al., eds. Radiation therapy for prostate cancer. In: Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 3, 2016.
  4. Prostate cancer. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostatecancer/detailedguide/prostate-cancer-treating-radiation-therapy. Accessed April 1, 2016.
  5. McAninch JW, et al., eds. Radiotherapy of urologic tumors. In: Smith and Tanagho's General Urology. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed April 1, 2016.