Stages of Prostate Cancer
STAGING: AN IMPORTANT STEP IN CHOOSING THE RIGHT TREATMENT
Staging is the assessment of the size and location of prostate cancer (that is, determining if, and how far, the cancer has already spread). Staging is necessary for you and your physician to decide what type of treatment is most appropriate.6
Currently, two different systems are used to stage prostate cancer. The most commonly used staging system is called TNM, which stands for tumor-nodes-metastasis. The traditional method classifies the disease into four clinical categories rated A through D. Although TNM is the more accepted staging system, the A–D system is still used.6
TNM staging uses tumor size (T) and whether the cancer has spread to lymph nodes (N) or metastasized to distant sites in the body (M) to determine a cancer’s stage.
Early cancer. The tumor is located within the prostate gland and cannot be detected by a digital rectal exam (DRE).
Tumor is considered to be within the prostate but is large enough to be felt during a DRE.
Prostate cancer is more advanced. The tumor has spread outside the prostate to some surrounding areas but has not spread to other organs. This stage of prostate cancer can usually be detected by a DRE.
Cancer has spread to the nearby organs and usually to distant sites, such as the bones or lymph nodes.
Read more about advanced prostate cancer.