Differentiating the Stages of Prostate Cancer

Author: Brian Hildebrandt, Last Updated: March 11, 2016

There are differant stages of prostate cancer you may go through during the progression of your treatment.

The main differance between the prostate cancer stages is the cancer’s size, and the locations it has spread to, from inside the prostate gland to the rest of the body.

The TNM (Tumor size, Nodes, Metastasis) is a concise scale for classifying your prostate cancer.

Picture of the stages of prostate cancer.

Tumour Size

  • Stage T1: Is found only in your prostate and not detectable by a DRE (digital rectal exam) or ultrasound.It is usually found by a PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test or biopsy.
  • Stage T2: Still found inside your prostate, but can be detected by a DRE or ultrasound.
  • Stage T3: Has spread to your surrounding tissue around the prostate.
  • Stage T4: Has spread but is localized around the pelvis; bladder, seminal vesicles, urethra, rectum, etc…

Spreading to Lymph Nodes

  • Stage N0: Has not spread to your lymph nodes.
  • Stage N1, N2, N3: Has spread to your lymph nodes. Higher numbers mean more advanced.
Progression through the 4 stages of prostate cancer.

Metastasis (Spreading to other Parts of Your Body)

  • Stage M0: Cancer has not spread to other parts of your body.
  • Stage M1: Cancer has spread to other organs; bones, liver, lungs, etc…

Hopefully the explanations and depictions of the prostate cancer stages may give you a better idea of what you’re up against.

It should help you and your doctor decide what treatment is best for you.


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