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When your care team determines your diagnosis, they also assess what stage of prostate cancer you have. Clinical or anatomical staging describes:
T-Tumor size. The size prostate cancer (in combination with the other features) gives clues to how quickly it might have grown and how likely it is to have spread.
N-Lymph nodes, whether cancer is present in lymph nodes and in how many.
M-Metastasis, whether the cancer has spread and, if so, to where.
A prostate cancer diagnosis and its staging help you and your doctor make decisions about your treatment plan.
Another critical question is whether the prostate cancer is aggressive or slow-growing. That is determined by evaluating the cancer cells under the microscope and grading them by how abnormal they area. In prostate cancer, this grading is called a Gleason score. The Gleason score uses the numbers 6 through 10. The lower the number the less aggressive the cancer appears to be.
We offer robust clinical trial programs for prostate cancer. These research studies evaluate new medical approaches, devices, drugs, and other treatments.
As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may be eligible to participate in open clinical trials. Open trials refer to studies currently recruiting participants or that may recruit participants in the near future. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but similar studies may open in the future.
You can access Stanford’s expertise and compassionate care for any stage or type of prostate cancer at a location that is convenient for you. We always accept new patients, and we take many insurance plans, including Medicare and Medi-Cal.