Many kinds of cancer have staging systems that help doctors decide
what treatments to choose. The stages of cancer are based on where and how far
it has grown. The most common staging system for
prostate cancer is the TNM system, which labels the
cancer in three categories: the size of the tumor (T), the spread of the cancer
to lymph nodes (N), and the spread of the cancer to other parts of the body (M,
Besides using the TNM labels, your doctor also will give your cancer
a Gleason score. A Gleason score is a way to describe differences in prostate
cancer cells. Prostate cancer cells that have a low Gleason score grow more
slowly than cells that have a higher score.
After the TNM and Gleason score information is collected, your doctor
can tell what
stage your cancer is in, what treatment is best for
you, and what your outlook is for being cured.
Other Works ConsultedAmerican Cancer Society (2006). Cancer Facts and Figures 2006, pp. 1–56. Atlanta: American
Cancer Society. Available online: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/STT/stt_0.asp.
June 21, 2010
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & J. Curtis Nickel, MD, FRCSC - Urology
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