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How to Get Tested for Various Stages of Prostate Cancer

After prostate cancer has been diagnosed, tests are performed to determine how far the cancer has spread.


  • Step 1: Be aware that in Stage I and Stage II prostate cancer, the cancer is confined to the prostate gland. In Stage III, it has spread to the seminal vesicles and nearby tissue. And in Stage IV, it has spread to lymph nodes, bones, lungs, or other organs.
  • FACT: In 2006, 203,415 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States.
  • TIP: These procedures may include CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis, MRI of the skeleton, and surgery to examine the lymph nodes in the pelvis for any prostate cancer spread.
  • Step 2: Keep in mind that additional procedures may be required if cancer is detected to determine if it has spread beyond the prostate gland.
  • Step 3: Be aware that if an abnormality is detected on a DRE or PSA test, your doctor may use transrectal ultrasound to further evaluate your prostate, or recommend a needle biopsy procedure to collect a sample of suspicious cells from your prostate.
  • Step 4: Know that most prostate cancer is initially detected through routine screening tests. The two most common tests are the digital rectal exam, or DRE, and the prostate-specific antigen,or PSA, test.

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