Before moving on to the stages and screening tests of prostate cancer, let’s understand some important things we should be first aware of.
Table of contents:
- What is prostate cancer?
- What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
- What are the stages of prostate cancer?
- How to detect prostate cancer and control?
What is prostate cancer?
Cancer that affects the prostate gland, a walnut-shaped gland in men that releases a fluid component of semen. Prostate cancer is one of the common types of cancer in men. Though some prostate cancer may not harm the person, more serious types of prostate cancer grow slowly and might require attention and treatment.
What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
If you observe any of the following symptoms, consult your health care professional immediately. This is because early detection of cancer can help you get the best treatment.
The advanced cases of prostate cancer show the following symptoms:
- Difficulty in urinating
- Decreased force in the flow of urine.
- Bone pain
- Blood in semen
- Discomfort or pain in the pelvic area
- Erectile dysfunction
What are the stages of prostate cancer?
Doctors describe the staging of prostate cancer as a TNM system, which means Tumor Node Metastasis. TNM is interlinked with the detection methods as a result of the screening tests that will help the doctor to classify the patient’s condition under the tumor, node, or metastasis.
- Tumor (T) – How large is the primary tumor, and where is it located?
- Node (N) – Has the tumor spread and affected the lymph nodes? If so, where and how many?
- Metastasis (M) – Has cancer spread to other parts of the body? If so, where and how much?
Combining the T, N, and M classifications, doctors assign the prostate cancer stage.
Hence there are four stages of prostate cancer.
- Stage 1 – this is an early stage, where the tumor cannot be felt. The cancer cells are well-differentiated, which means that they look like healthy cells.
- Stage 2 – under this stage, the tumor is found only in the prostate, where the risk of tumor growing and spreading is high.
- Stage 3 – here, the PSA levels are high, which shows that the tumor is growing and spreading. The chances of tumor growth and spreading are high.
- Stage 4 – cancer has spread beyond the prostate to other parts of the body, including lymph nodes and bones.
How to detect prostate cancer and control?
- Digital rectal exam (DRE) – prostate screening tests like DRE helps to detect any abnormalities in the texture, size, or shape of the gland. If you find anything unusual, you may be advised to perform further tests.
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test – PSA is a blood test that helps to determine the amount of PSA from your blood. A small amount of PSA will usually be present in your bloodstream, which is quite normal. But if the number goes high than usual, the chances of having a prostate infection, inflammation, or any other cancerous factors are high.
If you identify any of these symptoms, consider booking an appointment with your doctor. Not all signs lead to cancer. Sometimes, even a small infection can cause any of these symptoms. Have a discussion with your doctor regarding the prostate screening tests and decide whether you want or not, or whichever is best for you.