Tags: Prostate Health | prostate cancer | stages

What Are the Stages of Prostate Cancer?

By    |   Monday, 28 Mar 2016 05:42 PM

Just like with other cancers, the prognosis for prostate cancer depends on stages of the disease, or how much it has progressed.

There are a couple of different ways that the progression of prostate cancer can be described, according to WebMD.

The American Cancer Society explained that staging for prostate cancer will determine the best course for treatment.

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The most widely used staging system is the “TNM” system developed by the American Joint Committee on Cancer.
  • The “T” stands for tumor and is used to describe the extent of the main tumor in the prostate and surrounding structures.
  • The “N” stands for nodes, and indicates whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
  • Finally, the “M” indicates whether the cancer has metastasized, or spread to other parts of the body.
Within each value for TNM, there are stages assigned based on severity of the prostate cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
  • Within the “T” category, for example, T1 means the cancer cannot even be felt during a manual exam or seen with ultrasound. T2 means the tumor can be seen or felt, but it is still confined to the prostate. There are also T3 and T4 stages if the tumor is more advanced.
  • The “N” category has three values within it: X, meaning lymph nodes were not tested, 0, meaning the prostate cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes, and 1, meaning it has spread to lymph nodes.
  • The “M” category has two values: 0 means the cancer has not spread, and 1 means the cancer has spread.
These categories can even have substages that describe the prostate cancer with more detail.

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Determining the stages of prostate cancer can be done using a variety of different tests, said the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

For cancer that has spread, imaging studies such as CT scans, MRIs, and bone scans can often detect the severity.

WebMD noted that other tests such as the digital rectal exam, prostate-specific antigen blood test, and exploratory surgery of the lymph nodes can help assess the stages of prostate cancer.

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Just like with other cancers, the prognosis for prostate cancer depends on stages of the disease, or how much it has progressed.
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2016-42-28
Monday, 28 Mar 2016 05:42 PM
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