Prostate Cancer Staging System
Once a patient is diagnosed with prostate cancer, it is then important that information regarding the extent of the spread is determined, and how much it has affected the gland. Determining this is what is called prostate cancer staging. Prostate cancer staging involves categorizing the disease in specific classification in order to derive the appropriate approach for your treatment.
Prostate cancer staging conventionally was done by classifying the stages as Stages A, B, C and D. Stages A and B may be curable, and in both cases, the cancer is localized within the gland. In this type of prostate cancer staging, stage C has the cancer spreading beyond the prostate but has not reached the lymph nodes. Some in this stage have some hope of being cured. In stage D, the cancer has already reached the lymph nodes, bones and some other areas. Though the prostate cancer in this stage may no longer be curable, it can be treated for purposes of slowing its effect down.
New prostate cancer staging systems now use the TNM notation. T means tumor, N means Nodes (lymph nodes), and M means metastasized to other body organs.
For this prostate cancer staging system, the T classification has two types: a.) clinical stage, and b.) pathologic stage. The clinical stage is important in determining whether removal of the prostate gland may be in order, though it will not show the extent of the cancer spread. The pathologic stage is determined after surgery and will enable one to know the severity of the cancer – also, one will be able to have a better impression on how it might fair for him in the future.
Prostate cancer staging systems, whichever is used, provides a general guideline on what to expect at each particular level. It describes the condition of the prostate and the cancer cells in it, the treatment that may work for your particular stage, and the prognosis for your case.
With the valuable information it provides, prostate cancer staging systems will be a useful tool for both patients and doctors alike. Patients will be able to understand their current situation and the specific status of their prostate. Doctors will be able to rely on this prostate cancer staging systems to come up with the suitable approach for the patient he is treating.
Without prostate cancer staging systems, there would not be any means of putting meaning of the level and severity of the cancer experienced by the patient – no reference for appropriate approach in treating prostate cancer. A prostate cancer staging system has continued to be an efficient tool and basis for one’s treatment & prognosis.