The stage of a cancer is a term used to describe its size and whether it has spread. Knowing the stage of your cancer helps doctors decide the best treatment for you.
The most commonly used systems are a number staging system and the TNM staging system.
The simplified numbered staging system is described below:
- Stage 1 – The cancer is very small and only in the prostate.
- Stage 2 – The cancer is more advanced than stage 1, but it’s still within the prostate gland.
- Stage 3 – The cancer has started to break through the outer capsule of the prostate gland and may be in the nearby tubes that transport semen (seminal vesicles).
- Stage 4 – The cancer has spread beyond the prostate gland to nearby structures such as the bladder or back passage (rectum), or to more distant organs such as the bones or liver.