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Prostate Cancer: Pathology Report and Staging

The Pathology Report
If there is a suspicion that a patient may have prostate cancer, a sample of tissue (biopsy) may be taken for examinination. After a biopsy is taken, the physician who performed the biopsy sends the specimen to a pathologist. The pathologist examines the specimens at both the macroscopic (visible with the naked eye) and microscopic (requiring magnification) levels and then sends a pathology report to the physician. The report contains information about the tissue's appearance, cellular make up, and state of disease or normalcy. For more information about the pathology report, refer to the Diagnosis & Detection section.

Staging a cancer is a way of describing the extent of the disease. A common method of staging is called the T/N/M system, which assigns a degree of severity based on the the size, location, and spread of cancer in the body. The most widely used grading system for prostate cancer, however, is the Gleason Grading System. This sytem assigns a number based on the aggressiveness of the prostate cancer. Details of the T/N/M system and Gleason Grading System can be found in the Diagnosis & Detection section.

Learn more about prostate cancer or make an appointment at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.

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