Stages of Prostate Cancer

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
May 21, 2012

Stages of Prostate Cancer

The prognosis of prostate cancer depends on its spread (development), which can be easily explained by staging the disease. Health experts classify prostate cancer development in various stages to describe cancer’s spread. The cancer form develops slowly within the prostate and reaches to the point where it extends outside the prostate.

Prostate Cancer Stage 1

It is the beginning of prostate cancer development wherein the cancer remains within the prostate. The microscopic stage can only be detected on a digital rectal exam (DRE).

Prostate Cancer Stage II

In the second stage of prostate cancer, the tumour grows inside the prostate.

Prostate Cancer Stage III

In the third stage of prostate cancer, the tumour spreads to the outside of the prostate, but the damage outside is minimal and includes nearby tissues such as seminal vesicles.

Prostate Cancer Stage IV

In the fourth stage of prostate cancer, the cancer cells spread throughout the body, spreading to the lymph nodes, liver, lungs or bones.

Development/Spread of Prostate Cancer

  • Manifesting on adjoining tissues (invasion).
  • Spreading through the lymph nodes and lymph vessels.
  • Metastasis, wherein the prostate cancer spreads to the tissues through the bloodstream.

Identification of Prostate Cancer Stage

Digital rectal exam, prostate-specific antigen testing, transrectal ultrasound, prostate MRI, CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis and surgery to examine lymph nodes are the tests to determine the progress of prostate cancer.

Identification of the stage of prostate cancer is important for the medical intervention or treatment implying that the determination of stage of prostate cancer helps to figure out the optimal treatment. Extensive testing is advised for interrupting the development of prostate cancer.

TNM system is the most common technique to identify the stage of prostate cancer. It refers to tumour, nodes and metastasis, the three aspects analysed to figure out the development of prostate cancer. The technique identifies the development or damage due to prostate cancer through the three channels.

Another way to indentify the stage of prostate cancer is Gleason Score System. In some cases, both TNM system and Gleason system are used in tandem to figure out the development of prostate cancer.

Importance of Prostate Cancer Staging

Prostate cancer staging serves the following purposes:

  1. Staging helps in figuring out the diagnosis and treatment process.
  2. Prostate cancer staging aids health care providers to structure the patient's treatment schedule.
  3. It becomes easy to estimate a patient's course of the disease.
  4. After assessment, health care provider position patients into the high, intermediate and low risk groups.



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