The stages of the cancer are determined by the location of the cancer cells, what parts of the body the cancer has spread to, and abnormal functioning of bodily organs. Knowledge of the stage of the cancer is important to treatment, as it helps the doctor with determining the most appropriate treatment.
Prostate cancer is divided into 4 stages:
Stage 1 – This is the beginning stage. Cancer is found in the prostate only and cancer cells have not yet spread.
Stage 2 – The tumor has grown slightly larger, and is found in more than one-half of one lobe of the prostate or in both lobes, but has not spread beyond the prostate.
Stage 3 – Cancer cells have spread and broken through the outer layer of the prostate gland and may have spread into the seminal vesicles (tubes that carry semen).
Stage 4 – Cancer cells have spread (metastasized) outside the prostate to other tissues, commonly including the bones and lymph nodes.