When physicians evaluate the spreading of prostate cancer it is known as prostate cancer staging. In a good prostate cancer staging system, the stage at which the disease is at will help to determine its prognosis as well as assist in choosing a therapy suited for its treatment. It may require physical examination, testing of the blood as well as medical imaging to determine the clinical stage, especially when tissue is obtained through biopsy or surgery; an examination of such tissue under a microscope will make available the pathological staging. There are two prostate cancers staging schemes of which TNM system is most common and, it helps in evaluating the size of the tumor as well as how much is the involvement of lymph nodes as well as the amount of metastasis. A less common scheme used is the Whitmore-Jewett stage which is much like the TNM system and, is approximately an equivalent stage.
Deciding What Treatment Is Best For You
Even though TNM staging is important, it alone is not enough to decide on the required treatment that is most suited for a prostate cancer patient. Rather, another category that is known as the risk groups is used and, is based on the T-stage of the TNM system that is used for providing added information. The risk groups include low risk, intermediate risk as well as high risk and, whichever is the risk, it is useful in predicting extraprostatic extension or the spreading of the cancer beyond the prostate gland.
A patient who, after having had a prostate cancer staging, has a low risk disease can be treated with prostatectomy or radiotherapy while patients diagnosed with intermediate risk need radiotherapy as well short term hormonal ablation. When the prostate cancer staging reveals that a patient has high risk disease, he or she will need radiotherapy as well as long-term hormonal ablation.
Broadly speaking, there are four different prostate cancer stages that include Stages A through D. Stage A is the earliest stage in which the cancer has only recently been identified through PSA tests and biopsy. Stage B is the stage when the cancer is known to occur in several places within the prostate. The third stage or stage C is one in which the cancer spreads beyond the prostate and tissues lying in close proximity or, even in the bladder. The final stage or stage D has two sub-categories those of D1 and D2 and, the former means that the cancer has not progressed beyond the pelvic area while the latter means that it has even spread to the bone. Using the prostate cancer staging, oncologists can treat the disease according to the results obtained and, thus provide appropriate means of treatment.