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Determining Prostate Cancer Stages


Prostate cancer treatment is determined by the stage of the disease. Dignity Health doctors use tests, such as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and CT scans, to accurately determine the stages of prostate cancer. Staging helps your doctor better understand how well a therapy or treatment will work for you.

Dignity Health's Bay Area hospitals provide excellence in care to diagnose and determine prostate cancer stages. For personalized treatment, Find a Doctor with our search tool.

Experienced doctors offer testing and diagnosis at these Dignity Health locations in the Bay Area:

Stages of Prostate Cancer

There are four stages of prostate cancer. The highest number is the most advanced.

Stage 1 Prostate Cancer

At this stage, the cancer hasn’t spread beyond the prostate gland. Your doctor may recommend watchful waiting as stage one tumors are often small and have a low PSA level. If necessary, surgery and radiation may be recommended.

Stage 2 Prostate Cancer

The cancer also remains in your prostate gland during stage two. In some cases, the cancer may be located in more than one lobe of your prostate gland. Your doctor may recommend watchful waiting if the tumor is slow growing. Surgery and radiation may be useful because the cancer hasn’t spread beyond the prostate.

Stage 3 Prostate Cancer

During stage three, cancer has spread outside of your prostate gland to areas nearby. Treatment may include surgery, radiation, and hormone therapy.

Stage 4 Prostate Cancer

At stage four, prostate cancer may have spread to your lymph nodes or other organs, such as your bladder or rectum. Your doctor may recommend a combination of radiation and hormone therapy, and in some cases, chemotherapy as well.

Diagnosing Prostate Cancer at Dignity Health

Cancer screenings can help your doctor detect prostate cancer in its early stages. If your doctor notices any tissue abnormalities, treatment can be given before the disease advances. Talk with your doctor about your treatment options — and your care team to provide personal care.

Dignity Health hospitals in the Bay Area offer diagnostic testing to determine the stages of prostate cancer in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.