Understanding the Jewett- Whitmore Classification System of Prostate Cancer

May 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer Stages

Prostate cancer may slowly at the early stages and becomes more aggressive as it moves to the advanced stages. When diagnosing this condition, the doctor may carryout a series tests on the man.

The PSA test, Digital Rectal Exam and tissue biopsy could be carried out. Biopsy is applied when the cells or tissues of the prostate gland are taken out and examined under a microscope.

The objectives of carrying out biopsy by the pathologist are to determine the extension, character and form of the tumor that has started developing in the prostate. To achieve these, a classification system can be applied. Two common classification systems for tumors originating from prostate are the:

1 – TNM (Tumors, Nodes, and Metastasis) classification

2 – Jewett-Whitmore System.

This article is going to share some basic information about the Jewett-Whitmore System.

The Jewett-Whitmore is a classification system to stage prostate cancer. With this system, the tumor is classified as Stage A, B, C, or D. The A and B stages are used to describe tumors that have are still localized and with encouraging prognosis. C and D Stages do not have good prognosis. More so, each alphabetical description can be attached with a number to further describe the stage of the prostate. Here are more details on the stages of prostate cancer.

Stage A – At this stage, the cancer cells may look like normal cells of the prostate. The man whose prostate tumor is in this stage may not have symptoms. The Stage A is a localized stage, meaning that the tumor is still confined to the tissues of the prostate. Numbers like A1 or A2 can be used to describe different abnormality of the Stage A prostate Cancer.

Stage B – This stage of the tumor is still confined within the prostate but the cells are now palpable. This means that the prostate can now be felt or touched. It can result to high levels of Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), a protein secreted by the prostate gland. With PSA test and Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) the cancerous cells are detected. In addition, B0,B1, and B2 means  that the stage has high PSA level(not detectable), has  single tumor nodule, and metastasis occurs in either or both lobes of the prostate respectively.

Stage C – In this stage, the prostate has spread outside the prostate. The surrounding cells or tissues or seminal vesicles could be affected. C1 means that the tumor has spread outside of the prostate capsule, and C2 means that the tumor has could be blocking the bladder or urethra.

Stage D – This is the most advanced stage of prostate cancer. The diffusion (metastasis) of the prostate cancer to other vital organs in the body can be seen. The lymph glands, the bones, the liver, the lungs, etc can be affected by the diffusion of the cancerous cells. D0 could mean that the tumor has high levels of PSA but still localized, D1 may mean that the lymph nodes or glands have been affected, in D2 the tumor may affect distant tissues and organs starting from lymph gland. D3 may mean that the tumor has metastasized to affect organs like the lungs, livers, brain, etc.

These are details about the Jewett-Whitmore classification of prostate cancer. You can talk to a pathologist or your prostate cancer doctor for more information on this staging system.

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Comments

One Response to “Understanding the Jewett- Whitmore Classification System of Prostate Cancer”
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