What are the Prostate Cancer Staging Systems?

prostate cancer staging systemAnyone being diagnosed with any kinds of cancer surely develops depression. Let alone if they know the disease in their body when it has reached advanced stage. Therefore, it is very important that people recognize the stages of the deadly disease to anticipate unwanted things. By knowing the stages, people can be more aware of the risk of them getting the disease, so they can get a routine test or check up. Below is the prostate cancer staging which can be useful for men as the only group that can get the disease. There are several systems which refer to the prostate cancer staging itself.

Common Types of Prostate Cancer Staging and TNM System

There are two common types of staging the prostate cancer. The first one is the clinical stage in which the doctor firstly diagnoses the existence of the disease by conducting physical exam, laboratory tests, and biopsy. The second stage is when the patient gets surgery in order to remove the cancer cells. From the result of the surgery and removed tissue, the doctor can conduct further research about the disease and make sure about the possibility of recurrence. As a treatment, patients are often required to follow radiation theraphy.

The TNM system is made by the American Joint Committee on Cancer. This particular system is commonly used as the reference of staging cancer. Basically, TNM system includes 5 key information. The T category signifies the extent of primary tumor into cancerous cells. The N category describes the condition in which the cancer has spread and affected nearby lymph nodes. The M category states the likelihood of metastasis of the cancer cells. The next key information is the PSA level during diagnosis and the Gleason score which can be found from the surgery.

Other Prostate Cancer Staging Systems

Besides common types of staging and TNM system, doctors can also refer to other kinds of staging systems in order to do further actions to get rid of the disease. The first system is called Whitmore-Jewett system. It stages the cancer as A, B, C, or D. In the past, this particular staging system was more frequently used before TNM system is publicly introduced. However, basically, the Whitmore-Jewett system is the same as TNM system. Only the system is more difficult to understand because of the detailed explanation.

Another staging system to refer to prostate cancer condition is called the D’Amico risk categories. Unlike the system published by AJCC, this particular system is used for special prostate cancer cases. Doctors use D’Amico risk categories in order to find out the risk of the cancer cells to spread outside the prostate itself. It uses the PSA level, Gleason score, and also the T stage to divide the patients into three groups; low risk, intermediate risk, and high risk. D’Amico risk categories also provide information about how the patients can survive the disease based on which group they belong to. Sometimes, the information is needed for the patient himself. In broader extent, the information is needed to take further actions to deal with the disease, such as to take decisions in surgery or medications.

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