Prostrate Cancer Staging – Important Tips To Know
Prostate cancer occurs when prostates create small tumors by growing uncontrollably. A primary prostate tumor is the original tumor that tends to remain and grow in the prostate of the patient, while the secondary tumors are caused when the original cancer spreads to other locations in the body, also referred to as metastatic prostate cancer cells.
It is most often possible at this stage to cure the disease, and that is done achieved in perhaps of 90% all early diagnosed cases, employing standard prostate cancer interventions like prostatectomy or radiotherapy to remove or kill all cancerous cells in the prostate. The challenge is that a cancer like this is hard to detect because of the absence of symptoms. When the symptoms do develop, the disease has advanced to another stage entirely.
It does not take a whole lot to tell that prostate cancer staging is what the doctors use to determine the extents to which the disease has developed, and what treatments technique or combination will best treat or manage the condition. To keep it as simple as possible, you could think of Stage I prostate cancer as ‘localized,’ meaning the cancer is confined within the prostate gland, in which case there is little worry about curing the disease. Even the locally advanced, Stage II prostate cancer, which means that most of the cancer is confined within the prostate, but some has started to escape to the immediate surrounding tissues, is treatable too; a little bit of hormonal therapy and some radiation should do the trick.
A Stage III prostate cancer is what is termed a metastatic disease, while implies that the cancer is growing well outside the prostate and its immediate environs, and possibly to more distant organs. When you are on Stage IV, you have some serious issues; at this point even all of the best treatments combined will only give you a measure of hope because you are likely to lose a lot of healthy cells in the process, and your body might not handle the attack well enough to survive and recuperate after the cancer cells have been destroyed.
Often, the first test to check that you have prostate cancer, hopefully in stage I, is a digital physical examination, after which a number of tests may have to be used to help determine the stage of disease. The PSA test often comes first, with which numbers may be derived for the Gleason scale that determine the level of advancement of the disease, and thence the best treatments for the condition. It is not uncommon to use traditional imaging studies like CT scans, MRIs, or x-rays, along with the rest of the diagnostic process, or even imaging tests like bone scans, but the results are best combined.
The symptoms that define Stage IV prostate cancer are generally prostate enlargement, pain and blood in both urine and semen, swollen lymph nodes, bone pains in the hips and pelvis, backbone, femur, and the ribs. Often the worst of it is urinary and fecal incontinence, which means that there are cancerous cells built up and pressing against your spinal cord. To determine the best treatment, and how likely it is that you might be cured, you need the prostrate cancer staging.
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