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