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Treating prostate cancer requires the extreme knowledge and precision that the radiation oncology experts at Alaska CyberKnife Center can offer. Because the prostate is so near to other vital structures, care must be taken to avoid damage to these areas and focus radiation treatments on only the cancerous cells. The Alaska CyberKnife Center in Providence Cancer Center can offer you a non-surgical treatment option with improved outcomes.

Prostate Tumor Stages

It’s important to determine the stages of prostate cancer when developing your treatment plan. Like other cancers, doctors use the TNM combination for stage diagnosis.

  1. Tumor – Indicates whether or not the cancer is confined to the capsule of the prostate or has advanced further.
  2. Node – Indicates whether or not the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
  3. Metastasis – Indicates whether or not the cancer has spread to other parts of your body.

Doctors assign levels for each of the above factors and then combine these levels into stages. They stages of prostate cancer are:

  • Stage I – A tumor found only in the prostate that is so small it can’t be seen in imaging or felt with a rectal exam. Size is less than one-half of one of the four lobe of the prostate. PSA is less than 10.
  • Stage II – The tumor is still only inside the prostate, but has grown some.
    • Stage IIa – The tumor has grown, but just on one-half (left or right) of the prostate.
    • Stage IIb – The tumor has grown and involves both the left and right side of the prostate.
  • Stage III – In Stage III, the cancer has spread outside the prostate to adjacent tissue, such as the seminal vesicles. It has not spread to any lymph nodes or other parts of the body.
  • Stage IV – In this stage, the cancer has metastasized outside the prostate and adjacent tissue to other parts of the body including lymph nodes, the bones, liver, or lungs.
  • Recurrent – This stage of cancer is used when the cancer returns. Once that happens, doctors run more tests to establish a current stage.

Prostate Tumor Types

  • Acinar Adenocarcinoma. This type of cancer develops in the glandular organ of the prostate and it is responsible for more than 90% of all prostate cancers in the U.S. This is a slower growing type of cancer and, when found early, there is an excellent chance of curing it.
  • Rare Prostate Cancer Types. The other 10% of rare prostate cancers could be one of the following types below. Because they are so rare, there is less known about how they develop and their treatment.
    • Small cell carcinoma:  This aggressive type of cancer is made of small round cells. Because it doesn’t lead to a change in your PSA, it is often more difficult to find early and so has usually reached an advanced stage when it is detected.
    • Squamous cell carcinoma: Another aggressive form of cancer, this one develops from the flat cells covering the prostate gland, called the squamous cells. This cancer grows quickly and also doesn’t show an increase in PSA levels.
    • Transitional cell carcinomas: This type of prostate cancer actually develops in the bladder or urethra and then spreads into the prostate.
    • Ductal adenocarcinoma. This fast-spreading cancer starts in the cells that line the ducts of the prostate gland. It’s often not diagnosed until it is in advanced stages.
    • Carcinoid of the prostate. Carcinoid tumors start from cells of the neuroendocrine system, which is made up of specialized nerve and gland cells. These slow-growing tumors are very rare.
    • Prostatic sarcoma and sarcomatoid cancer. This type of rare cancer starts from the smooth muscle cells of the prostate. The most common type in adults is called leiomyosarcoma and usually occurs in men between the ages of 35 and 60. Twenty-five percent of cases have metastasized to other parts of the body by the time this cancer is diagnosed. Prostatic sarcoma remains in the prostate for a viable period of time before it spreads locally to the bladder, rectum or perineum. Over more time the tumor will spread to distant locations like the lungs, brain, bones or liver. The most common sites of distant metastasis are the lungs.
  • Metastatic Prostate Cancer. A cancer that originates in the prostate, but then spreads to other parts of the body is called metastatic prostate cancer. The cancer cell makeup is the same as prostate cancer cells so it is treated as a type of prostate cancer. The most common sites for prostate cancer to travel is to the adrenal gland, bone, liver, and lungs.

Call Alaska CyberKnife For More Information

Don’t be confused by all of these types of prostate cancer. Contact our board certified radiation oncologists and let them explain the different types of prostate cancer and the treatment methods appropriate for each type. We offer a convenient online messaging system you can use to make initial contact. Or, pick up the phone and call our Anchorage cancer center today at (907) 312-2112 and let us answer all of your questions and make recommendations based on your individual case. We are here to help you navigate your treatment course and make sense of your diagnosis and treatment plan.

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