Cancer Information

Prostate Cancer: Staging

To form your treatment plan, your healthcare team must learn more about your cancer. What do the cancer cells look like? Has the cancer spread beyond the prostate? Cells removed during biopsy will be viewed under the microscope. Treatment will depend on how the cells look (grade) and where they are located(stage).

Staging the Cancer

Your urologist will assign your cancer a stage based on PSA, DRE, and imaging tests. Lower-stage cancers are confined to the prostate. Higher-stage cancers have spread from the prostate to nearby organs, bone, or other body tissues.


Stage T1

A tumor that is completely inside the prostate. It can’t be felt during DRE.

Stage T2

A tumor that can be felt during DRE, but is still completely inside the prostate.

Stage T3 or T4

Cancer that has spread to the outside of the prostate or to the seminal vesicles.

Stage N+, M+

Cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes (N+), or to the bones or other organs (M+).