Prostate cancer occurs when abnormal cells develop in the prostate. These cells have the potential to continue to multiply, and possibly spread beyond the prostate.

Diag4a Normal Cells
Diag4b Abnormalcells
Diag4c Noninvasive
Diag4d Invasive

Most prostate cancers grow more slowly than other types of cancer, although this is not always the case. How the prostate cancer cells behave depends partly on the grade, as determined by a pathologist and the stage, as determined by a urologist. Treatment decisions will depend of the grade and stage of the cancer.

Cancer grade

The grade gives an idea of how quickly the cancer may develop. The Gleason system is used to grade prostate cancer. Low-grade cancers usually grow slowly and are less likely to spread. Higher grade cancers are more likely to grow quickly and spread to other body parts.

Cancer stage

Stage is a term used to describe the cancer’s size and whether it has spread beyond the prostate.Prostate cancer discovered before it has grown outside the prostate gland is known as ‘localised prostate cancer’ or ‘early prostate cancer’.

Some types of localised prostate cancer grow slowly and are not aggressive. Other types grow more quickly and spread to other parts of the body. When this happens, it is called ‘advanced prostate cancer’.

There are different stages of prostate cancer:

  • Localised – the cancer has not spread beyond the prostate
  • Locally advanced – the cancer has extended beyond the prostate gland but is still confined in the prostate region
  • Advanced – the cancer has spread to organs next to the prostate gland such as the bladder, rectum and pelvic wall
  • Metastatic – the cancer has spread to distant parts of the
  • body such as bone.
Diag 2a -T1

The tumour or cancer cannot be felt by the doctor during examination

Diag 2b - T2

The cancer can be felt but it has not spread outside of the prostate

Diag 2c - T3

The cancer has spread outside of the prostate into nearby tissues

Diag 2d - T4

The cancer has spread into nearby organs such as the bladder