MyChart is not for medical emergencies. If you have a medical emergency, call 911.
If you need help with MyChart, call us at 1-844-442-4278
In some cases, prostate cancer recurs, or comes back, after a patient is treated with surgery or radiation. A rising PSA and/or a positive biopsy are the first indicators that the cancer has returned or has not been completely eradicated.
The multidisciplinary prostate cancer team at the University of Chicago Medicine specializes in the latest techniques for the treatment of cancer that has recurred.
Salvage radical prostatectomy refers to surgical removal of the prostate gland when cancer recurs after treatment. This procedure also includes the removal of adjoining seminal vesicles (glands that produce semen) and often the surrounding lymph nodes. Every attempt is made to spare the muscles and nerves important for preserving continence. This is a highly complex procedure with important considerations regarding quality-of-life but often is the only remaining curative option for men with recurrent prostate cancer. If you are considering a salvage prostatectomy, which is typically performed using a robot-assisted technique, it is important to have a detailed discussion with your surgeon.
Radiation therapy can be effective for cancer that recurs after radical prostatectomy. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) can be used to target the tissues at risk for cancer recurrence, including the space that the prostate occupied before removal. In certain cases, radiation therapy is combined with hormonal therapy to improve the chance for cure.
At UChicago Medicine, medical oncologists with special expertise in prostate cancer manage the treatment of men with recurrent disease. As members in the Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium (PCCTC), they collaborate with experts at more than 40 other research sites in the U.S. to design, implement and complete clinical trials of novel drugs for recurrent prostate cancer. As a result, our medical oncologists have access to the latest therapies for prostate cancer. And we continually research and develop new therapies for men with recurrent prostate cancer.
Systemic therapies — medications used to treat cancer by attacking it throughout the body — for recurrent prostate cancer include: