Prostate Cancer Stages

Prostate Cancer Stages determine the prognosis of prostate cancer. The survival rate of 99 out 100 patients diagnosed with stage 1 and 2 prostate cancer is more than 5 years, while 65 to 90 out of 100 prostate cancer survivors will live for at least 10 years. The prognosis of prostate cancer is poorer when the patient is diagnosed with higher grade of cancer, especially when the patient is older. In advanced stage of prostate cancer, aggressive prostate cancer treatment will yield 70-80% survival rate of at least 5 years.

The outcome of all types of cancer depends on the severity or the level of its spread to the surrounding or distant tissues. In simple terms, the Prostate Cancer Stages are outlined as:

Stage I – cancer is confined to the prostate, and there are no palpable lumps.

Stage II – cancer is confined to the prostate but there are palpable lumps

Stage III – significant growth of tumor outside the prostate gland, and possible involvement of seminal vesicle.

Stage IV – metastases of cancer to other organs, such as the lymph nodes or distant organs.

Another way to define Prostate Cancer Stages is called the Gleason score. This scoring depends on how the cancer cells appear under a microscope. The treatment of prostate cancer can be determined through the Gleason score. For example, older patients with lower scores are advised to undergo watchful waiting, since the cancer cells will not cause immediate danger to the patient’s health. On the other hand, a younger patient with a higher Gleason score is advised to have a more aggressive form of treatment for prostate cancer.  An outline of the Gleason score follows:

  • 2-6 – cancer cells are likely slow-growing
  • 7 – cancer cells are moderately growing
  • 8-10 – cancer cells are rapidly growing

Prostate Cancer Stages can also be described by a more complex but more widely used by doctors: The TNM system. TNM system bases its staging on the extent of the tumor (T), lymph nodes involvement (N), and spread to other tissues or organs (M – for metastases). In addition, a number is attached to each letter to indicate the level of the size of tumor, number of lymph nodes affected, and the extent of metastases.