Prostate Cancer – Types & Stages

Expert Cancer Treatment Center in Phoenix, AZ

At Palo Verde Cancer Specialists, we’re proud to help patients throughout the greater Phoenix area overcome cancer and achieve long-lasting, whole body health through high-quality cancer treatment services. Our treatment team of doctors, oncologists, and specialists works with patients on a one to one basis, designing highly personalized treatment plans that suit each patient’s unique lifestyle. Among the most common cancers we treat is prostate cancer, and while the vast majority of cases are one type of prostate cancer, it can develop in a variety of forms.

Prostate Cancer by Type

While there are a variety of prostate cancers that men can develop, the vast majority – upwards of 90% of all cases – fall into one type called acinar adenocarcinoma. This cancer begins in the gland cells of the prostate, and in most cases is grows slowly and rarely transfers to other areas of the body, although in some cases it can be aggressive and metastasize. In any case, acinar adenocarcinoma is usually manageable with treatment and has a very low mortality rate (99% within 5 years, 95% within 15 years).

Rare Forms of Prostate Cancer

Outside of acinar adenocarcinoma, there are a variety of less common forms of prostate cancer. Unfortunately, because they are so rare, less is known about these varieties and they have fewer cut-and-dry treatment options. Other forms of prostate cancer are as follows:

  • Ductal Adenocarcinoma: This cancer starts in the cells lining the ducts of the prostate glands, and unfortunately, it’s a more aggressive and dangerous form than acinar adenocarcinoma. Thankfully, however, it represents only .4% to .8% of all prostate cancer cases, making ductal adenocarcinoma is exceedingly rare.
  • Transitional Cell (Urothelial) Cancer: This starts in the cells lining the urethra, although it often spreads to the cells in the bladder entrance and nearby tissues. It may also begin in the bladder itself, then spread to the prostate.
  • Squamous Cell Cancer: This cancer begins in the flat cells on the outside of the prostate gland, which are known as squamous cells. Like ductal adenocarcinoma, this cancer grows faster and is more aggressive than acinar adenocarcinoma, and it’s often in a later stage when first diagnosed.
  • Carcinoid: These tumors begin in the cells of the neuroendocrine system, and they’re both exceedingly rare and slow-growing.
  • Small Cell Cancer: This cancer is made from small, round cells in the neuroendocrine system near the prostate. Unfortunately, this type of cancer is more difficult to detect than many other forms of prostate cancer, so patients are often in a later stage when diagnosed.
  • Sarcoma & Sarcomatoid Cancers: Sarcoma cancers begin in the muscle cells and grow quickly, most commonly occurring between the ages of 35 and 60. Sarcomatoid cancers form from a mixture of sarcoma and adenocarcinoma cells.

Prostate Cancer Stages

Like all cancers, prostate cancer is a progressive disease with several stages. These stages begin with the most mild forms of cancer and progress to the most serious. The stages are defined by what’s known as a “TMN methodology” – standing for tumor, node, and metastasis. In general, cancers are higher-stage and more serious when they have larger tumors, infect more lymph nodes, and metastasize to other parts of the body.

  • Stage I: At this stage, the cancer is fully non-invasive and is too small to be detected with a digital rectal exam (DRE). At this stage, the cancer isn’t serious yet.
  • Stage II: At this stage, the cancer is still restricted to the prostate but is slightly larger.
  • Stage IIa: Stage IIa cancers are still restricted to the prostate, but they range in size from one half of a lobe to both lobes of the prostate.
  • Stage IIb: These cancers are still restricted to the prostate but encompass both lobes.
  • Stage III: At this stage, the cancer has just crossed over from the prostate to nearby tissues like seminal vesicles. It still hasn’t spread to the lymph nodes or metastasized to other parts of the body.
  • Stage IV: Stage IV cancers are the most serious and have metastasized to other parts of the body including the lymph nodes, liver, and lungs. Prompt treatment is critical at this stage.
  • Recurrent: This describes a cancer that has already been treated but returned to the prostate.

Treating Prostate Cancer

The prostate is millimeters away from vital structures in the body – so treating prostate cancer requires an experienced, expert team capable of executing precision treatments and procedures. At Palo Verde Cancer Specialists, that describes us perfectly. Every member of our expert team has years of experience treating cancers, and we work with our patients on an individualized level to customize their treatment plan to perfectly suit their unique situation. No matter what stage or type of cancer you’re up against, you can count on the team at Palo Verde Cancer Specialists to help you thrive – and it only takes one phone call to start reclaiming your life.

Contact Your Phoenix, AZ Cancer Specialists

If you or a loved one have recently been diagnosed with cancer, don’t wait – get the help you need today. Palo Verde Cancer Specialists is an experienced team of oncologists and cancer experts standing by to help you get the treatment you need and reclaim the life you deserve. If you have more questions about our office or are ready to take the fight against cancer back into your own hands, feel free to reach out to us at our contact page or schedule an appointment with us using our easy online form. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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