Fast Five Quiz: Prostate Cancer Diagnosis and Staging

Chad R. Tracy, MD


June 15, 2021

Pathologic staging (p) represents the extent of disease that is determined after prostatectomy. Although pT2c represents an organ-confined cancer that involves both lobes of the prostate, pT3 describes cancer with extraprostatic extension.

Clinical (c) staging indicates the staging of cancer prior to surgery. Stage cT1b describes a tumor of incidental histologic finding, where more than 5% of resected tissue contains prostate cancer. A stage of cT1c indicates cancer detected following the discovery of an elevated PSA level and is the most common clinical stage for prostate cancer in the era of PSA testing.

Staging for prostate cancer is as follows:

Primary tumor

  • Clinical tumor staging: TX – T4

  • Pathologic tumor staging: pT2 – pT4

Regional lymph nodes

  • Clinical lymph node staging: NX – N1

  • Pathologic lymph node staging: pNX – pN1

Distant metastasis staging: pM0 – pM1c

A higher clinical stage of cancer determined by DRE findings, PSA level, and Gleason score correlates with an increased risk of extraprostatic spread.

Learn more about staging of prostate cancer.


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