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What Are The Stages of Prostate Cancer?

What Are The Stages of Prostate Cancer?

Being able to differentiate a cancer into stages allows for you and your doctor to better understand how advanced your cancer is and how much it has spread since the original diagnosis. When your cancer is able to be categorized as a certain stage it can help your doctor determine the best treatment option for you. 

What Is The TNM Staging System?

The TNM Staging System is commonly recognized and used as a way to describe the size of the tumor, the number of lymph nodes that have cancer and where the tumor is located. The American Joint Committee on Cancer’s TNM system is widely recognized and used by cancer treatment facilities worldwide. The information below related to the stages of prostate cancer is based around this staging system. 

Factors of the TNM Staging System

T: The extent of the main tumor

N: Whether the prostate cancer has spread to lymph nodes

M: Whether the prostate cancer has spread to other parts of the body

Additionally, the AJCC TNM staging system factors in  PSA levels during prostate cancer diagnosis and the grade group which is determined during a prostate biopsy. For a deeper dive into the TNM staging system, check out the informational graphic created by Girish Khera on our main blog page. 

Prostate Cancer Stages

The primary stages of prostate cancer range from stage one to stage 4. It is important to note that some of these stages are broken down even further. (i.e. prostate cancer stage 2A) A common rule that is followed in this staging process is the lower the number (lowest being 1), the less the prostate cancer has spread. As for stages that are divided into substages, the earlier letter (A) refers to a lower stage. 

It is important to note that each person’s prostate cancer experience is different and unique from one another. This staging system provides a common ground for cancers to be identified and categorized as best as possible. This has led to similar stages of cancer having similar outlooks and treatment paths. We understand that prostate cancer can be complex. If you have any questions about what stage you or a love one is in, please contact a  prostate cancer center


The Chicago Prostate Cancer Center is committed to providing  comprehensive and compassionate treatment for prostate cancer patients. We pride ourselves on being a patient-centric facility with experienced, friendly staff and state-of-the-art equipment to ensure that our patients undergo a stress-free and comfortable prostate cancer treatment. 

Contact us to learn more.

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