What Is the Treatment for Gleason 6 Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer with a score of Gleason 6 is still in stage I, reports the American Cancer Society. Depending on the specific patient, treatment for Stage I prostate cancer may involve watchful waiting or active surveillance, explains WebMD. Alternatively, treatment may require a more active approach such as radiation therapy, surgery or ultrasound.

A diagnosis of stage I prostate cancer indicates that the cancer is only within the prostate and hasn’t disseminated to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body, explains the American Cancer Society. For older patients, doctors may recommend watching the symptoms closely to see if other complications develop, according to WebMD. Sometimes the cancer remains small and the patient has no further health problems. A doctor opting for active surveillance monitors blood PSA levels closely, because a rise in PSA levels may indicate that the cancer is spreading. The doctor may also perform other tests such as ultrasound and rectal exams.

Radiation therapy either prevents cancer cells from spreading or kills them, notes WebMD. External radiation therapy directs a radiation beam at the tumor, while internal radiation involves the insertion of radioactive particles near the tumor. Surgery known as radical prostatectomy involves the removal of the entire prostate and some of the tissue around it. Doctors sometimes destroy cancerous tissue with ablation therapy, which can involve a freezing technique or high-intensity ultrasound.