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Stages of prostate cancer

Scanning of patient to detect the extent of cancer.
Scanning of patient to detect the extent of cancer.

Once the diagnosis has been established by biopsy of the gland (with the microscopic diagnosis of carcinoma of prostate), the doctor will order an MRI scan of the pelvis (the modern high resolution MRI being more sensitive than CT or ultrasound for picking up any extracapsular extension of tumour and is also an excellent imaging method for detecting spread to pelvic lymph nodes). The MRI scan will hopefully demonstrate no disease outside the gland i.e. 'organ confined disease’).


He will also order a bone scan (although this test is not indicated in everyone presenting with a very early prostate cancer) as the bones are the first site of more distant spread, if this has occurred. 


Other tests are of a more routine nature.

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