Prostate Cancer: Types & Stages
The good news is that 90 percent of prostate cancers are the slow-growing type that can be discovered and treated early and, in most cases, cured. However, your prostate is near other organs that are vital to everyday functions and reproductive responsibilities. That’s why it is so important that you work with a team of doctors like the experts at Mat-Su Valley Comprehensive Cancer Center who are experienced in creating a treatment plan that limits the risk to these healthy organs.
The Palmer radiation oncologists are equipped to do just that. They will develop an effective, risk-limiting prostate cancer treatment plan based on the type and stages of your cancer. Mat-Su Valley Comprehensive Cancer Center is the premier cancer treatment center of the Palmer area with a comprehensive array of radiation procedures.
Types Of Prostate Cancer
By using a microscope to examine your cancerous cells taken from your prostate during a biopsy, your doctor can determine the type of prostate cancer you have. There are two major categories of prostate cancer:
- Acinar Adenocarcinoma. This type of prostate cancer includes 90 percent of all prostate cancers and is, by far, the most common in the United States. This cancer begins in the gland cells of the prostate. Many of these cells grow slowly, but a few can progress more rapidly. There are other types of adenocarcinoma, which include atrophic, foamy, colloid and signet ring carcinoma. They are all treated in the same way as acinar adenocarcinoma. So if you are told you have any of these types, all the information in our prostate cancer section will still apply to you.
- Rare Prostate Cancer Types. The remaining 10% of prostate cancers are very rare and could be one of the six types listed below. Because they are so rare, there is less known about how they develop and their treatment.
- Ductal adenocarcinoma. Starting in the cells that line the ducts of the prostate gland, this cancer grows and spreads more quickly than acinar adenocarcinoma. Sometimes men are in the advanced stages by the time it is diagnosed, with poor. It represents 0.4% to 0.8% of all prostate cancers and is associated with a poor prognosis. r chance of recovery.
- Transitional cell (urothelial cancer). This type of prostate cancer starts in the cells that line the urethra. Transitional cell cancer of the prostate may spread into the bladder entrance and into nearby tissues. More commonly, this type of cancer may start in the bladder and spread into the prostate.
- Squamous cell cancer. This type starts from the flat cells covering the prostate gland, called squamous cells. Squamous cell prostate cancer tends to grow and spread more quickly than adenocarcinoma, so it may be advanced when diagnosed.
- Carcinoid of the prostate. Carcinoid tumors start from cells of the neuroendocrine system, which is made up of specialized nerve and gland cells. These tumors are very rare and seem to be slowly growing.
- Small cell cancer. This is also a type of neuroendocrine tumour and is made up of small round cells. You may not have a raised PSA (prostate specific antigen) test, so it’s harder to find early and may be advanced when diagnosed.
- Sarcoma and sarcomatoid cancer Sarcomas start from muscle cells. They often grow quite quickly. The most common type of prostate sarcoma in adults is leiomyosarcoma. It tends to occur in men between the ages of 35 and 60. Sarcomatoid cancers have a mixture of sarcoma and adenocarcinoma cells.
Stages Of Prostate Cancer
It is always important to establish the exact state of the prostate cancer so your doctors can best compile a treatment plan and prognosis. The stages of prostate cancer, like other cancers, correspond with the methodology TNM – tumor, node, metastasis.
- Tumor – The larger the primary tumor or abnormal growth, the more serious.
- Node – The more lymph nodes that have cancerous cells, the more serious the cancer.
- Metastasis – Serious stages involve the spreading of cancer to other parts of the body.
Doctors assign levels for each of the above factors and then combine these levels into stages. They stages of prostate cancer are:
- Stage I – This is a non-invasive cancer found only in the prostate when the disease is so small it can’t be detected with a digital rectal exam (DRE) and isn’t seen in imaging. The tumor is smaller than one-half of one lobe of the prostate. Your PSA is less than 10.
- Stage II – The tumor is still restricted to inside the prostate, but has grown some.
- Stage IIa – The tumor encompasses between one-half of one lobe and two lobes.
- Stage IIb – The tumor encompasses both lobes of the prostate.
- Stage III – In Stage III, the cancer has just barely spread outside the prostate to nearby tissues, like the seminal vesicles. It has not spread to lymph nodes or metastasized to a distant tissue.
- Stage IV – In this stage, the cancer has metastasized outside the tissue, affecting other parts of the body including lymph nodes, the bones, liver, or lungs.
- Recurrent – This stage of cancer is used when the cancer returns to the originally infected place after treatment. Once that happens, doctors run more tests to establish a current stage.
Use these links to find out more about prostate cancer: