March 16, 2009 -- Question: How are prostate cancer tumors classified?
Answer: Prostate tumors are typically classified by both stage and grade. The grade is the pattern of cell growth that the pathologist sees under the microscope. This is typically a Gleason's grade that is given to these cells and this information gives us information on how aggressive the cancer is.
The second piece of information is the stage. The stage is based on the clinical exam and in general, individuals that have nodules on the prostate are termed a T2. Individuals that may only have a PSA elevation but no nodule are termed a T1.