Prostate Cancer (cont.)
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How are Prostate Cancer Stages Defined?
The primary staging assessment of prostate cancer is usually made by digital rectal examination (DRE), prostate specific antigen (PSA) measurement, and bone scan, supplemented with computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and chest X-ray in specific situations.
Staging is a system of classifying tumors by size, location, and extent of spread, local and remote.
Staging is an important part of treatment planning because tumors respond best to different treatments at different stages.
Stage is also a good indicator of prognosis, or the chances of success after treatment.
Clinical staging provides the initial information about the extent of disease that is used to plan therapy. However, clinical staging can underestimate the extent of the tumor, when compared with results based upon pathologic examination of a resection specimen (pathological staging).
Conventional stages of prostate cancer are as follows:
Tumor, node, and metastases (TNM) staging:
Most urologists currently use the 2010 TNM (Tumor, Node, Metastases) staging system for prostate cancer. This is based on a combination of three criteria: the extent of the primary tumor (T stage), involvement of lymph nodes by the cancer (N stage), and the presence or absence of spread to distant areas of the body in the form of metastasis (M stage). The TNM 2010 staging system is as follows:
T-staging refers to the size of the tumor and whether it has invaded nearby tissue.
N-staging refers to the presence of lymph node metastases.
M-staging refers to the assessment of distant metastases.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/31/2015
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Prostate cancer is the most common noncutaneous cancer among males.