The levels of progression of prostate cancer are referred to as Early, Locally Advanced, and Advanced stages.
Two metrics are used to determine how far prostate cancer has progressed:
- The stage of a cancer refers to the size of the tumour and how far it has spread.
- The grade of a cancer, on the other hand, deals with how fast the cancer may spread or grow. This is determined by a doctor observing the cancer cells under a microscope.
Early & Intermediate Prostate Cancer
Early-stage prostate cancer means that the cancerous cells are contained within a confined area within the prostate gland, with a Gleason Grade of 3 + 3 = 6, or a small amount of 3 + 4 = 7.
The Gleason Score refers to the pattern of cancer cells in the prostate. The different patterns are graded 1 to 5, with Grade 1 being very similar to typical prostate tissue, and Grade 5 being very different to typical prostate tissue. Grades 3, 4, and 5 are cancer.
In the UK, most patients are encouraged to wait to see if their cancer progresses over time and will enter a period of ongoing review of their PSA levels, MRI scans and biopsies (the Active Surveillance protocol).
Intermediate prostate cancer means that the cancerous cells are still confined within the prostate gland but may be of a higher volume and may be present in more than one area, with a Gleason Score of 3 + 4 = 7, or 4 + 3 = 7.
These men will be asked to consider proceeding to radical treatments of Radical Prostatectomy (surgery to remove the prostate gland), or Hormone / Radiotherapy treatments.
These treatments are effective at treating cancer but are invasive and have side effects. An alternative for a large proportion of these men is to have a non-invasive treatment to eliminate the cancer at this stage, with few side effects – Focal Therapy.
Advanced Stage Prostate Cancer
Advanced prostate cancer means that the cancerous cells have spread beyond the prostate gland.
In these cases, radical treatments are essential in order to maximise the opportunity for cure and to enhance quality of life.
The stage of your cancer will help your consultant decide, together with you, which treatment is most appropriate.
As a group of consultants we are passionate about prostate cancer sufferers knowing about all of their treatment options.
We know that settling on the right treatment is a big decision for you. If you would like to speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable patient advocates about your diagnosis and the HIFU Focal Therapy treatment option then please do not hesitate to get in touch today.
All enquiries to The Focal Therapy Clinic are confidential, and we are delighted to offer our advice and support with no obligation.