What Are The Stages Of Prostate Cancer
Cancer staging is first described using what is called a TNM system. The âTâ refers to a description of the size or extent of the primary, or original, tumor. âNâ describes the presence or absence of, and extent of spread of the cancer to lymph nodes that may be nearby or further from the original tumor. âMâ describes the presence or absence of metastases â usually distant areas elsewhere in the body other than regional lymph nodes to which the cancer has spread. Cancers with specific TNM characteristics are then grouped into stages, and the stages are then assigned Roman numerals with the numerals used in increasing order as the extent of the cancer being staged increases or the cancer prognosis worsens. Prognosis is finally reflected by considering the patientâs PSA score at presentation as well as their Gleason score in assigning a final stage designation.
The American Joint Commission on Cancer system for prostate cancer staging is as follows:
Traditionally, advanced prostate cancer was defined as disease that had widely metastasized beyond the prostate, the surrounding tissue, and the pelvic lymph nodes and was incurable. However, a more contemporary definition includes patients with lower grade disease with an increased risk of progression and/or death from prostate cancer in addition to those with widely metastatic disease.
How Do I Know How Long I Have Left To Live
You might want to know how long you have left to live. This can help you prepare and plan the time you have left. There might be things you want to do or people you want to see. But some men dont want to know how long they have left. Everyone is different.
You can ask your doctor how long you have left to live. They wont be able to give you an exact answer. This can be frustrating and it may feel like your doctor is trying to avoid your questions. But no-one can know for certain how long you have left because everyone’s body and everyone’s cancer is different. However, your doctor will be able to give you some idea based on where the cancer has spread to, how you are responding to treatment, how quickly the cancer has spread, and what problems it is causing.
It can be helpful to talk with your family about this. You may not want to upset them but they might have similar questions and thoughts to you.
If you have months or maybe years left to live, it can be difficult for your doctor to say exactly how long you have left. This is because they dont know how you will respond to different treatments. If your treatment stops working so well, there may be other treatments available. Some men may not respond well to one treatment, but may respond better to another. Read more about treatments for advanced prostate cancer.
What Is Stage 4 Prostate Cancer
The fourth stage of prostate cancer defines a tumor that has progressed to other regions of the body, such as the lymph nodes, lungs, liver, bones, or bladder. The 5-year survival rate for these tumors is 29 percent.
Keep in mind that each case is unique, and figures like these are merely suggestions. As advances in prostate cancer treatment become more common, your odds of surviving this disease improve.
In general, prostate cancer has a very good survival rate one of the greatest of any cancer type. Because prostate cancer is frequently a slow-moving disease, the majority of men diagnosed with it will die from an unrelated reason.
Stage 4 prostate cancer means the cancer has spread to lymph nodes or to other parts of the body. It is further divided into two substages:
- Prostate Cancer Stage 4A Stage 4A: The cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes but may or may not have spread to nearby tissues.
- Prostate Cancer Stage 4B Stage 4B: The cancer has spread to another area of the body, such as the bones or distant lymph nodes.
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Prostate Cancer Risk Groups
In addition to stage, doctors may use other prognostic factors to help plan the best treatment and predict how successful treatment will be. Examples of these include the National Comprehensive Cancer Network risk group categories and the Cancer of the Prostate Risk Assessment risk score from University of California, San Francisco.
Information about the cancers stage and other prognostic factors will help the doctor recommend a specific treatment plan. The next section in this guide is Types of Treatment. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.
So What Are The Stages Of Prostate Cancer
Staging of a prostate cancer means classifying the cancer according to how far it has spread and its effects on the prostate. The staging system helps in tailoring treatment to properly address the tumor.
To determine the stage of a cancer, your doctor will use a number of indicators. For instance, your doctor will use the TNM system, which has three different aspects. Tumor describes the size of the main area of the cancer, nodes identifies whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and to what extent, while metastasis describes how far from the prostate the cancer has spread.
Similarly, your physician will use the Gleason score and the grade group score to stage the cancer. The higher the Gleason or grade group score, the more aggressive and widely spread the cancer. Plus, your doctor will use the PSA level, ultrasound, MRI, CT scans, nuclear scans, and surgery to correctly stage the cancer.
The least advanced prostate cancer, usually small and not yet spread beyond the prostate, is called stage I prostate cancer. It is characterized by a PSA level thats less than10 ng/mL, a Gleason score of 6, and a grade group score of 1. The cancer has a 5-year survival rate of almost 100 percent.
Stage I prostate cancer is managed by active surveillance for nearly all patients with a Gleason score of 6, unless the patient is unwilling or unable to undergo additional biopsies or has high-volume disease.
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Gleason Prostate Cancer Score
1960s as a way to measure how aggressive your prostate cancer may be.
A pathologist determines your Gleason score by looking at a biopsy of your prostate tissue under a microscope. They grade the cells in the biopsy on a scale of 1 to 5. Grade 1 cells are healthy prostate, whereas grade 5 cells are highly mutated and dont resemble healthy cells at all.
The pathologist will calculate your Gleason score by adding together the number of the most prevalent type of cell in the sample and the second most prevalent type of cell.
For example, if the most common cell grade in your sample is 4 and the second most common is 4, you would have a score of 8.
A Gleason score of 6 is considered low-grade cancer, 7 is intermediate, and 8 to 10 is high-grade cancer.
How Prostate Cancer Is Diagnosed And Staged
Cancer staging helps you and your doctor understand how advanced your cancer is and how much it has spread at the time of diagnosis. Knowing your cancer stage also helps your doctor determine the best treatment options for you and estimate your chance of survival.
The most widely used staging system for cancer is the TNM system that classifies cancer from stage 1 to stage 4.
TNM stands for:
- Tumor: the size and extent of the tumor
- Nodes: the number or extent of nearby lymph node involvement
- Metastasis: whether cancer has spread to distant sites in the body
The TNM scale is used for many types of cancer. When a doctor uses it to determine your prostate cancer stage, theyll consider several other factors as well, including:
- grade groups
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The Ajcc Tnm Staging System
A staging system is a standard way for the cancer care team to describe how far a cancer has spread. The most widely used staging system for prostate cancer is the AJCC TNM system, which was most recently updated in 2018.
The TNM system for prostate cancer is based on 5 key pieces of information:
- The extent of the main tumor *
- Whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes
- Whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body
- The PSA level at the time of diagnosis
- The Grade Group , which is a measure of how likely the cancer is to grow and spread quickly. This is determined by the results of the prostate biopsy .
*There are 2 types of T categories for prostate cancer:
- The clinical T category is your doctors best estimate of the extent of your disease, based on the results of the physical exam and prostate biopsy, and any imaging tests you have had.
- If you have surgery to remove your prostate, your doctors can also determine the pathologic T category . The pathologic T is likely to be more accurate than the clinical T, as it is done after all of your prostate has been examined in the lab.
Numbers or letters after T, N, and M provide more details about each of these factors. Higher numbers mean the cancer is more advanced. Once the T, N, and M categories have been determined, this information is combined in a process called stage grouping to get the overall stage of the cancer.
Gleason Score Vs Grade Groups
The International Society of Urological Pathology released a revised prostate cancer grading system in 2014. The grade group system seeks to simplify Gleason scores and give a more accurate diagnosis.
One of the major problems with the Gleason score is that some scores can be made up in different ways. For example, a score of 7 can mean:
- 3 + 4. The 3 pattern is the most common in the biopsy and 4 is the second most common. This pattern is considered favorable intermediate risk.
- 4 + 3. The 4 pattern is the most common in the biopsy and 3 is the second most common. This pattern is considered unfavorable and may mean local or metastatic spread.
So, although both situations give a Gleason score of 7, they actually have very different prognoses.
Heres an overview of how the two grading systems compare:
|grade group 5||910|
Not all hospitals have switched to the grade group system. Many hospitals give both grade group and Gleason scores to avoid confusion until grade groups become more widely used.
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Is Stage 4 Cancer Always Terminal
More severe cancers are more likely to be terminal. However, that is never a certainty. For example, the American Cancer Society say the 5-year survival rate for breast cancer that spreads to distant body parts is 27%, or 86% when it only spreads locally.
Determining the severity of cancer and its stage is a complex process. Doctors are still learning about all the factors that affect how cancer develops and affects the body.
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Treatments To Control And Prevent Further Cancer Spread In Patients With Castrate Refractory Advanced Prostate Cancer:
At BPC we offer:
Other treatment options ongoing clinical studies:
- Autologous cellular immunotherapy, which is in late trial stage and although not currently available outside a trial setting in the UK, is likely to be licensed soon.
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What Is The Life Expectancy For Stage 4 Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer life expectancy is determined using five-year survival rates. This is the percentage of people who may still be alive five years after being diagnosed.
The five-year survival rate for men with localized prostate cancer, where there is no evidence of cancer spreading outside the prostate, and regional prostate cancer, when cancer has migrated outside the prostate to adjacent structures or lymph nodes exclusively, is approximately 100 percent.
When prostate cancer reaches stage 4 and has spread to other organs such as the lungs, liver, or bones, the five-year survival rate falls below 30%. At stage 4, prostate cancer is unlikely to be cured, although with effective therapy, many people can live for several years. The patients life expectancy is determined by the precise characteristics of his cancer.
However, thanks to routine screening procedures, prostate cancer is often discovered early, before it has spread to other organs, and it is usually not fatal. When diagnosed early, there are several treatment options available, as well as a good likelihood of a cure.
Pathological Stage: A Look At The Actual Cancer Cells And Their Distribution Within The Pelvic Area
This system assesses how pervasive the cancer cells are within and around the prostate. These stages begin at T2.
T2: The tumor is located in the prostate only.T3: The tumor has breached the prostate border on 1 or more sides.T3b: The tumor has begun to grow in the seminal vesicles.T4: The tumor has grown into other neighboring structures, like the bladder, the rectum, or the pelvic wall.
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The Prostate Cancer Research Institute Uses Colors To Describe The Stages
The Prostate Cancer Research Institute , which is dedicated to helping educate patients and caregivers about prostate cancer, has developed a staging system using colors.
Unlike the other staging systems designed for healthcare professionals making treatment decisions, such as the AJCC TNM system, this one is a simplified system targeted at patients. Its designed to help educate men with prostate cancer so that they have a better understanding of their disease, enabling for improved communication with their healthcare provider.
The PCRI system involves taking a six question quiz, using information from your medical records, to determine the likely stage of prostate cancer you have. Knowing more about your stage of prostate cancer is intended to put you in a better position to start the conversation about treatment options with your healthcare professional.
This PCRI prostate cancer staging system has five stages as follows:
- Sky – A low-risk stage that requires active surveillance
- Teal – An intermediate-risk stage with three sub-levels – low, basic and high
- Azure – A high-risk stage
- Indigo – A stage covering men with relapsed disease with three sub-levels – low, basic and high
- Royal – An advanced stage of disease where the prostate cancer has spread outside of the pelvic lymph nodes or developed resistance to certain medications. This stage also has three sub-levels – low, basic and high
What Is The Survival Rate Of Stage 4 Prostate Cancer
Doctors use the term stage to characterize the characteristics of the original tumor itself, such as its size and how far prostate cancer has spread when it is discovered, as they do with all malignancies.
Staging systems are difficult to understand. Most malignancies, including prostate cancer, are staged using three different elements of tumor growth and dissemination. The TNM system stands for tumor, nodes, and metastasis:
- T, for tumor describes the size of the main area of prostate cancer.
- N, for nodes, describes whether prostate cancer has spread to any lymph nodes, and how many and in what locations.
- M, for metastasis, means distant spread of prostate cancer, for example, to the bones or liver.
The TNM approach allows each mans prostate cancer to be characterized in depth and compared to the prostate cancers of other men. Doctors utilize this information to conduct research and make treatment decisions.
However, in terms of prostate cancer survival statistics, the staging method is straightforward. As previously stated, males with prostate cancer can be split into two groups in terms of survival rates:
- Men with prostate cancer that is localized to the prostate or just nearby.
- Prostate cancer has a high long-term survival percentage in these men. Almost all men will live for more than five years after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, and many will live for much longer.
- Men whose prostate cancer has spread to distant areas, like their bones.
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Experimental Treatments For Advanced Prostate Cancer
Researchers are currently testing many new approaches and treatments for prostate cancer, including new medications. These include the following:
Immune checkpoint inhibitors
The immune system uses âcheckpointsâ to stop it from attacking the bodyâs healthy cells. These checkpoints are proteins on immune cells.
Cancer cells often use these checkpoints to keep the immune system from attacking them.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors are drugs that can these checkpoints on cancer cells. Inhibiting these checkpoints can allow a personâs immune system to attack the cancer cells.
Chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy
This treatment involves taking immune cells from the personâs blood. A scientist then alters these cells in a lab to have receptors called chimeric antigen receptors on their surface.
These receptors help the cells attach to proteins on the surface of prostate cells. A scientist then multiplies these altered T cells in a lab before putting them back into the personâs blood.
Scientists hope these T cells can then find prostate cancer cells and launch a targeted immune attack.
However, this treatment is complicated and may have some serious side effects. This means it is currently only available as part of clinical trials.
Targeted drug therapies
Targeted drug therapies can act on specific parts of cancer cells and the environments surrounding them.
Two possible targeted therapy treatments are:
Treating prostate cancer that has spread to the bones
The Importance Of Early Detection
Detecting prostate cancer at its earliest stage usually means better treatment outcomes.
Because of this, men must undergo DRE and PSA testing regularly. The age by which they need to start testing varies. But, if you have a very high risk of prostate cancer, due to family history and other risk factors, its important to consider testing at the age of 40.
Learn more about Prostate Cancer here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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