Prostate cancer diagnoses


Prostate cancer is classified as an adenocarcinoma, or glandular cancer, that begins when normal semen-secreting prostate gland cells mutate into cancer cells. The region of prostate gland where the adenocarcinoma is most common is the peripheral zone. Initially, small clumps of cancer cells remain confined to otherwise normal prostate glands, a condition known as carcinoma in situ or prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN). Although there is no proof that PIN is a cancer precursor, it is closely associated with cancer. Over time these cancer cells begin to multiply and spread to the surrounding prostate tissue (the stroma) forming a tumor. Eventually, the tumor may grow large enough to invade nearby organs such as the seminal vesicles or the rectum, or the tumor cells may develop the ability to travel in the bloodstream and lymphatic system. Prostate cancer is considered a malignant tumor because it is a mass of cells which can invade other parts of the body. This invasion of other organs is called metastasis. Prostate cancer most commonly metastasizes to the bones, lymph nodes, rectum, and bladder.

Normal prostate (A) and prostate cancer (B). In prostate cancer, the regular glands of the normal prostate are replaced by irregular glands and clumps of cells, as seen in these pictures taken through a microscope.

When a man has symptoms of prostate cancer, or a screening test indicates an increased risk for cancer, more invasive evaluation is offered.

The only test which can fully confirm the diagnosis of prostate cancer is a biopsy, the removal of small pieces of the prostate for microscopic examination. However, prior to a biopsy, several other tools may be used to gather more information about the prostate and the urinary tract. Cystoscopy shows the urinary tract from inside the bladder, using a thin, flexible camera tube inserted down the urethra. Transrectal ultrasonography creates a picture of the prostate using sound waves from a probe in the rectum.

On June 5, 2009 I got the result of a biopsy diagnosing cancer in the left lobe with a Gleason grade of 3+4 = Score of 7, present in 5 of 5 cores, involving 60% of needle core tissue, and measuring 38 MM in length. Doctor noted the Stage as T2 with N0 and M0 because there have been no tests or biopsy to determine these (Node & Metastasis)

So, yes, I do have prostate cancer. It gets way complicated from here. At this point it is an “Intermediate” stage but I haven’t had any tests that will confirm or deny if Nodes are involved or Metastasis (spread). At this point the prognosis is good with nearly 100% “cure” rate if it is caught early enough. There are a variety of treatments and tests to choose from so if we caught it early enough and if it has not spread I have a good chance to get through this OK.