Surgery or radiotherapy?

taken from Small Gland, Big Problem 4th Edition
by Professor Roger Kirby, Health Press 2011

Ultimately, when you have weighed up the pros and cons with your urologist, the choice will be yours and that of your immediate family. The risks associated with radical prostatectomy or radiotherapy and a summary of the pros and cons of each are shown in the tables overleaf.

How do I make the choice?

Until the results of ongoing studies are available, it will not be known for certain which is the safest and most effective treatment for localized prostate cancer. Until then, there will be a choice of treatments, which the patient must decide for himself. Critical to this choice is the confidence that you feel in your doctor and his team, so it is important to find an experienced specialist team and weigh up the pros and cons with them, before deciding for yourself which treatment is right for you.

Risks associated with radical prostatectomy and radiotherapy
  Men who die as a result Men who become impotent as a result Men who suffer mild to severe incontinence

External-beam radiotherapy 

Fewer than 0.1%

30-50% 1-2%
Brachytherapy Fewer than 0.1% 30-50% 2%
Radical prostatectomy 0.6% 30-70% 2-15%