Prostate Cancer – Types & Stages

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, and because it’s so near important bodily structures, having an experienced, knowledgeable, and capable treatment team is absolutely critical. Thankfully, the team at Pasadena CyberKnife Center is here to help. Our radiation oncology specialists work with prostate cancer patients on a daily basis, and the state-of-the-art CyberKnife treatment we offer is a world-class radiation therapy that provides a non-invasive, non-surgical solution to prostate cancer. No matter what type or stage of prostate cancer you’re dealing with, we’ll work with you to help you through treatment and to reclaim whole-body health.

The vast majority of prostate cancer cases – about 90% – are of the same type, which makes the treatment process identical for most cases of prostate cancer. That said, there are other forms, and while they’re far rarer, we’re also equipped to treat these other types of prostate cancer.

Types Of Prostate Cancer

Once you’re diagnosed with prostate cancer, we’ll take a biopsy of your tumor to determine the type of prostate cancer you have. While most cases are one form of prostate cancer, there are a variety of different types:

Acinar Adenocarcinoma

Acinar Adenocarcinoma is the most common form of prostate cancer by far, making up about 90% of all cases. This form begins in the gland cells of the prostate, and the cancerous cells grow slowly with little likelihood of metastasizing (spreading) to other areas of the body. While there are other forms of adenocarcinoma such as foamy, colloid, and signet ring, they’re all treated in the same way as acinar adenocarcinoma.

Rare Forms of Prostate Cancer

10% of prostate cancer cases are classified as one of six other, rarer forms of prostate cancer. Because these forms as rare, less is known about them and treating them isn’t quite as clear-cut – but at Pasadena CyberKnife Center, we’ll work with you to find the ideal treatment for your unique case. Other forms of prostate cancer include:

  • Ductal Adenocarcinoma: This cancer starts in the cells lining the ducts of the prostate gland, and it’s a more aggressive form of cancer, growing and spreading more quickly. Unfortunately, men are often in later stages when diagnosed, making for poorer chances of recovery. In all, this form represents about 0.4% to 0.8% of all prostate cancer cases.
  • Transitional Cell (Urothelial Cancer): This form starts in the cells lining the urethra and can commonly spread to the cells in the entrance of the bladder and other nearby tissues. Alternatively, it may begin in the bladder and spread to the prostate.
  • Squamous Cell Cancer: This form begins in flat cells covering the outside of the prostate, which are called squamous cells. Squamous cell prostate cancer is more aggressive than adenocarcinoma and grows and spreads more quickly, which means it’s often in more advanced stages when diagnosed.
  • Carcinoid of the Prostate: Carcinoid tumors begin in cells in the neuroendocrine system, which is a combination of nerve and gland cells. Tumors of this type are exceedingly rare, but they seem to be a slow-growing variety.
  • Small Cell Cancer: Another type of neuroendocrine tumor, small cell cancer is made from small, round cells. It’s more difficult to detect than many other forms of cancer, so it may be more advanced when diagnosed.
  • Sarcoma & Sarcomatoid Cancer: Sarcomas begin in muscle cells and often grow quickly. The most common form of prostate sarcoma is leiomyosarcoma, which usually begins between ages 35 and 60. Sarcomatoid cancers are tumors with a mix of sarcoma and adenocarcinoma cells.

Stages Of Prostate Cancer

To determine the ideal treatment, it’s important to determine the stage of prostate cancer. Like other forms of cancer, prostate cancer stage is evaluated with a TNM methodology, which stands for tumor, node, and metastasis. In general, cancers increase in stage and severity as their tumors increase in size, more lymph nodes are affected, and the metastasize. The stages of prostate cancer go as follows:

  • Stage I: Stage I prostate cancer is non-invasive, and the tumor is so small that it can’t be found with a digital rectal exam (DRE). At this point, the tumor is less than one-half of one lobe of the prostate.
  • Stage II: At this point, the tumor has grown some but it still restricted to the prostate.
  • Stage IIa: The tumor is still restricted to only the prostate but has grown to encompass between a half of a lobe and both lobes.
  • Stage IIb: The tumor encompasses both lobes, but still hasn’t spread beyond the prostate.
  • Stage III: In Stage III, the tumor has just begun to spread to nearby tissues like the seminal vesicles or urethra. It has not yet spread to the lymph nodes or traveled anywhere distant in the body.
  • Stage IV: This is the most serious stage, at which point the tumor has infected the lymph nodes and spread to other areas of the body like the bones or the lungs.
  • Recurrent: This applies to cancer that has returned to the prostate after treatment. Recurrent cancer requires more tests to determine it’s current stage.

Contact Your Cancer Treatment Experts in Pasadena

Any cancer diagnosis is scary, but with skillful treatment, there’s always hope. At Pasadena CyberKnife Center, our mission is to help our patients through the cancer treatment process, allowing them to beat their cancer and reclaim a healthy body and life. If you or a loved one have recently been diagnosed with prostate or any other form of cancer, we are here to help you. Feel free to call us at 626-768-1021 to learn more about the treatments we offer, or if you’d like to schedule a consultation with us, please reach out to us at our contact page. We look forward to hearing from you.