Advanced Prostate Cancer

This article was developed to provide general information about the treatments available at UCSF for patients with advanced prostate cancer. Our Prostate Cancer Center has a strong commitment to delivering state-of-the-art care, improving existing treatments, and developing new therapies for all stages of prostate cancer.


Prostate cancer is considered advanced when it requires additional treatment beyond radiation or surgery. "Advanced prostate cancer," however, covers a range of disease. Some advanced cancer patients have metastases, meaning the disease has spread to distant sites, such as lymph nodes, organs and bones. Others have no metastases seen on imaging tests but their PSA rises after initial treatment, a condition known as rising-PSA or PSA-only prostate cancer. While most of the treatments described below are for patients with metastases, they may also be offered to patients with rising-PSA cancer.

Your choice of treatment is influenced by several factors, including your current medical condition, treatments you've already received, location and extent of your cancer, and presence or absence of symptoms. For patients with PSA-only cancer, the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) doubling time is also considered.

Another factor is how your cancer responds to hormone therapy, which is described in the next section. Generally, as long as your cancer responds to hormone therapy, other treatments will not be required. However, many cancers will eventually progress despite hormone therapy, and when that occurs the more advanced therapies described later in this article will be indicated.

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    Best hospital in Northern California

  • Best in Northern California in cancer care

  • usnews-urology

    Best in Northern California in urology

  • n1-2x

    in NIH funding for urology research

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.