Prostate Cancer Stage

Prostate Cancer Stage: How do you become Prostate Cancer Free?
Content contributed by R. Alex Hsi, M.D.
Peninsula Cancer Center

How is the Prostate Cancer Stage Determined?

What is Your Prostate Cancer Stage?

Your prostate cancer stage is set after testing. Stage describes if the tumor was detected or felt during the digital rectal exam. The prostate cancer stage also indicates whether or not the cancer may have spread to lymph nodes or other organs. Clinical stage is based on all information available prior to any treatment and designated by the TNM system as shown in the Prostate Cancer Stage table below.

Setting the stage of prostate cancer is the process used to find out how far the cancer has spread both within and immediately around the prostate as well as if it has spread more distantly to other parts of the body. Several different tests can be used either alone or in combination to determine the extent of spread of the cancer. Not all of these tests are needed in all men. Staging tests include the DRE, PSA Blood Test, Ultrasound, Biopsy, Bone Scan, Cat Scan, MRI and PET Scan. For more information on the tests involved in staging, click on the ICON to the right.

What is your Prostate Cancer Stage?

TNM Description
T1 Cancer present, but not detectable in DRE or on imaging.
T1a Found incidentally, Less than 5 percent of sample malignant and low-grade.
T1b Found incidentally, More than 5 percent of sample malignant and/or not low-grade.
T1c PSA elevated, not palpable, found in needle biopsy.
T2 Tumor is palpable in DRE; organ confined.
T2a Confined to half or less than half in one of the prostate’s two lobes.
T2b Confined to more than one half of one lobe of gland but not both.
T2c The tumor is in both lobes but within the prostatic capsule.
T3 Locally extensive cancer.
T3a Penetration of prostate capsule on one or both sides.
T3b Invasion into the seminal vesicle.
T4 Tumor extension to adjacent organs.
T4a Cancer that has invaded the bladder neck and/or rectum and/or external urinary sphincter.
T4b Cancer that involves other areas near the prostate.
N Lymph node involvement.
NO No cancer detected in the lymph nodes.
N1 Cancer spread to one or more lymph nodes measuring less than 2cm.
N2 Cancer spread to one or more lymph nodes measuring 2-5cm.
N3 Cancer spread to one or more lymph nodes measuring more than 5cm.
M Metastasis to distant sites other than lymph nodes (cancer spread).
MO Cancer that is confined to the prostate, surrounding tissues and pelvic lymph nodes.
M1 Cancer that has spread beyond the pelvic area to bones, lungs, etc.

Prostate Cancer Stage: What is PSA?
Prostate Cancer Stage: Gleason Score or Grade Prostate Cancer Stage: Prostate Cancer Risk Group