Prostate Cancer Treatments | Surgery for Prostate Cancer | Mount Carmel Health

Specialized Treatment

Mount Carmel offers the most advanced treatments for prostate cancer. The specific treatment depends on a variety of factors, including the stage of the disease, the patient's age and general health and the patient's preference.

Comprehensive prostate cancer treatments available through or in association with Mount Carmel include:

Surgical Treatments

Surgery for prostate cancer involves removing the prostate gland, surrounding tissue and possibly lymph nodes. Serious long-term side effects such as impotence and incontinence are becoming less common due to surgical advances such as sparing techniques and robotic surgery. However, risks and benefits of surgery should be discussed with a physician prior to surgery.

  • Robotic Prostatectomy - Mount Carmel offers the robotic prostatectomy, a less invasive approach to prostate removal that incorporates the latest advancements in robotic-assisted technology. Surgeons use robotic technology to remove cancerous tissue and at the same time spare nerves surrounding the prostate that control bladder and potency. One of the biggest benefits of this type of prostate cancer treatment is that patients can enjoy a quicker return to normal activities. Learn more about our Minimally Invasive Institute and associated procedures.

  • Perineal Prostatectomy - In the perineal procedure, the surgeon removes the prostate through an incision in the skin between the scrotum and anus. This approach allows for low blood loss, low postoperative use of narcotics for pain, short hospital stays, and requires only 1 small perineal incision. This type of surgery for prostate cancer is not performed as often as robotic prostatectomy because nerve-sparing techniques are more difficult to execute and lymph nodes cannot be removed through this incision. With a proven history of success, perineal prostatectomy may be beneficial for obese men or patients with significant surgical adhesions from previous surgeries. A short hospital stay is typically required as well as a catheter for 14-21 days.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is used to destroy localized prostate cancer or to slow the growth of cancer that has spread beyond the prostate. At Mount Carmel, the two most common forms of radiation treatment for prostate cancer are:

  • Brachytherapy (Radioactive Seed Implant) - Cancer that is localized in the prostate gland may be treated with brachytherapy, a minimally invasive procedure. Small radioactive pellets (about the size of a grain of rice) are implanted in the prostate through the perineum (space between the scrotum and anus) using special needles that are guided by ultrasound. Each patient has a customized, computer-generated plan in which 40 - 100 seeds may be implanted. At Mount Carmel, brachytherapy is performed at our Outpatient Cancer Treatment Centers on an outpatient basis and takes about 90 minutes.

  • Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) - This type of prostate cancer treatment is used to precisely deliver a high dose of radiation to the prostate gland while minimizing damage to healthy tissue. In IMRT, the traditional radiation beam is broken into several smaller beams which can be adjusted during the treatment to reduce the dosage level reaching healthy tissue. Treatments for IMRT are typically administered five days per week for seven to nine weeks.

  • Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy – Stereotactic radiosurgery systems like CyberKnife® precisely direct high doses of radiation to the prostate tumor while sparing normal tissue. This precision is made possible by CyberKnife’s ability to take into account patient movement and precisely target the prostate during the entire procedure. This treatment maximizes the radiation reaching the prostate tumor and minimizes damage to surrounding healthy tissue.An outpatient treatment completed in five or fewer procedures, CyberKnife does not require surgery or sedation. Treatment is provided by Columbus CyberKnife, a service of Mount Carmel.


Cryotherapy is a treatment for localized prostate cancer in which the prostate gland is frozen. Under general anesthesia, special needles are inserted into the prostate. The needles produce very cold temperatures, destroying the entire prostate including any cancerous tissue within it. The procedure takes 1 to 2 hours and usually requires an overnight hospital stay. The long term effectiveness of cryotherapy is unknown. Nevertheless, it may be a preferred option for patients who are not candidates for surgery or radiation therapy, or who do not want surgery or radiation.

Hormone Therapy

Hormone treatments for prostate cancer are primarily used if prostate cancer has spread outside the prostate. It may also be used prior to radiation therapy to shrink the prostate or in conjunction with radiation therapy for advanced cancers. This therapy does not cure cancer but is used to slow its progression. Patients receive monthly or quarterly injections at a physician's office. In addition, an oral medication may be prescribed.


Chemotherapy is a treatment option when prostate cancer has spread outside the prostate gland or when hormone therapy has failed. Chemotherapy may shrink the tumor or slow its growth and relieve symptoms caused by the cancer. Typically, a combination of two or more drugs is given to decrease the chance of cancer cells becoming resistant to the therapy.