Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. The drugs enter the bloodstream and travel through the body to kill cancer cells. The side effects from chemotherapy occur because it destroys both normal cells and cancer cells.

Chemotherapy may be given either alone or with radiation therapy . When given alone, it is given in a higher dose designed to kill cancer cells. When given with radiation therapy, it is delivered at a lower dose and is designed to make the cancer more sensitive to the radiation.

To date, chemotherapy has not been used in the standard management of primary prostate cancer. There are several ongoing clinical throughout the US that are investigating whether chemotherapy can help patients who have a recurrence of prostate cancer after surgery , radiation therapy , or hormonal therapy. Chemotherapy is being used for patients with hormone-resistant, metastatic disease. It is also used to treat bone pain in patients whose disease has spread to the bones.

Because surgery, radiation therapy, and hormonal therapy are all known to be successful methods of treating prostate cancer, chemotherapy is not likely to be added to your treatment regimen. If your cancer has been resistant to these methods, however, ask your doctor if any of the chemotherapy trials would be of interest to you.