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Prostate Cancer

Stages of Prostate Cancer

There are four stages of prostate cancer, stage I through stage IV. Stage I cancer, the earliest stage, is too small to be felt during a rectal exam and causes no symptoms. In fact, it is only discovered by accident, such as when a physician is performing surgery for another reason, usually an enlarged prostate. A sub-stage of this cancer called T1c may be identified during a needle biopsy that is performed because of elevated levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). This stage tumor has not spread outside the prostate. 

  • Stage II tumors are also confined to the prostate, but involve more tissue within the gland. These tumors are large enough to be felt during a rectal exam, but may also be found through a biopsy performed because of high levels of PSA. 
  • Stage III cancers have spread beyond the prostate to nearby tissues. Patients may be experiencing symptoms such as problems with urination. 
  • Stage IV tumors have spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body—commonly the bones. The patient may be experiencing problems with urination, fatigue and weight loss. 

Locations for Prostate Cancer