Understanding the Prostate Cancer Stages

There are 5 relevant prostate cancer stages that one must be aware of to understand the full scope of the disease. Prostate cancer is one of the deadliest cancers affecting men today. More men die from Prostate Cancer then any other form of cancer. Yet, Prostate cancer is one the few cancers that, if it is caught early enough, can be corrected or controlled.The first of the 5 prostate cancer stages is usually only found through a blood test or biopsy in the affect region of the body. It is usually found through a prostate-specific antigen level in the blood test. This stage is called T-1, professionally. It consists of a microscopic tumor that is only in the prostate itself. It is undetectable by rectal exams and ultrasounds and usually presents no symptoms. T-1 cancers are usually local cancers.The second stage of prostate cancer is called T2, professionally. This stage is one where the tumor can be felt through a digital rectal exam. It can also be viewed through ultrasound. The tumor is still confined to the prostate area. T2 cancers are usually local cancers.The third stage of prostate cancer is a spreading tumor. This stage is professionally known as stage T3. The cancer at this stage will now start to move to the seminal vesicles and close-by tissues. It has not spread yet to the lymph nodes in the body. T3 cancers usually are regional cancers that affect areas just beyond the prostate.The fourth stage of prostate cancer is afflicting the organs and tissues that reside nearest the prostate. This stage is professionally known as T4. T4 cancers are usually cancers that are regionally located. They reach just beyond the prostate area of the body.The fifth stage of prostate cancer is afflicting the whole of the body. It can affect any organ, bone or lymph node. This stage is professionally known as N+ or M+. The N+ portion means that it is affecting the pelvic lymph nodes. The M+ portion of this stage means that the cancer is affecting the other lymph nodes, organs and bones that are distant from the prostate area of the body. All the parts that are mentioned for Stage M+ do not have to be afflicted with cancer in order to be classified as M+. At this stage, the cancer is considered to be a metastatic cancer, meaning that the cancer is reaching lymph nodes or other parts of the body.Prostate cancer stages are hard to diagnose without the help of your doctor. Early detection can save your life or the life of someone you know. The National Cancer Center for Health Statistics stated that of prostate cancer sufferers on record, 99.9% had survived 5 years. Though there were people who had lived considerably longer than that, the study didn’t indicate any further life expectancies beyond this one.