Review on the Staging of Prostate Cancer

April 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer Stages

Prostate cancer is staged by doctors to identify the extent of the spread of the cells. It is no longer news that cancerous cells that originates from one part of the body can spread to other parts. If the cancer originates from cells or tissues of the prostate gland, with time it is likely to metastasize or spread. For this reason, staging of the disease becomes very important. Here is an interesting review on the Staging of prostate cancer should know.

For a start, prostate cancer can be referred to as the abnormal growth or increase in size of the cells that make up the prostate gland. This gland is a walnut size organ situated as the neck of the bladder and surrounding the Urethra of men. The function of this gland include to help produce seminal fluid for the transportation of spermatozoa, and to help in the passing out of urine from the body. This gland can be affected with conditions such as Prostatitis, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), infections, and cancer of the prostate.

The exact cause of prostate cancer is not known; nevertheless some concrete risk factors like family history, age, diet, ethnicity, medications, etc have been associated to cause this disease in different men. The common signs that an individual could be experiencing this condition are:

  • he will have difficulty passing out urine
  • he will have blood in the urine
  • he will feel the urge to urinate frequently at night
  • he will pains when initiating urination
  • he will pass bloody semen
  • he will have painful ejaculation, etc.
  • Staging of prostate cancer

Many tests can be conducted so as to detect if you have prostate cancer. The first of these tests is the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test.

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This test is carried out to find out the level of PSA in the blood. Elevated levels of PSA could mean that your prostate has been affected by cancer. The PSA test is not often reliable. Other tests or diagnostic methods that are used apart from the PSA are the Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) and Biopsy. DRE enables the doctor to insert gloved hands into the anal region to feel any unusual lump on the prostate. Biopsy is an experiment whereby some tissues of the prostate are taken and observed under a microscope to identify any difference from normal prostate cells. Biopsy is a more reliable test and it helps in staging cancer of the prostate.

Staging of prostate cancer

In simple term, staging means finding out the extent of damage done by cancerous cells that originates from prostate to other parts of the body. There are about four   stages involved. These include:

  • Stage I– At this stage, the cells is not easily noticeable. The use of sonogram and DRE cannot detect the cancer. The area affected are mainly the prostate cell, hence it is localized cancer.
  • State II – This is still a localized prostate but now in advanced form. DRE and sonogram can be used to identify them.
  • Stage III – By this time the cancer cells have spread beyond the prostate. The seminal vesicles can be affected by this time.
  • Stage IV – This is the most advanced stage, whereby the lymph nodes, bones, and other vital organs in the body must have been affected. This stage is the most dangerous stage.

Finally, apart from biopsy, other tests that can be used to detect the different stages of prostate cancer include: Bone Scan, CT scan, and MRI scan. For more details about staging of prostate cancer, visit your doctor.

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