The Staging Guide Video Series | Transcription:

Hi, I'm Dr. Scholz. Let's talk about prostate cancer.

Today we're going to talk about the five stages of prostate cancer. The PCRI has developed a system for patients. Prostate cancer is very complex. Who has time to study the full range of all the information associated with prostate cancer? Even the professionals have trouble keeping up. Patients need personalized information directed to their particular type of disease. This is what the PCRI's Staging System provides.  

There are a lot of different prostate cancer staging systems. All of these have been designed for physicians to help them decide on the correct treatment. The PCRI Staging System is designed for patients, simplified with a six question quiz. This is to enable patients to approach their physicians with accurate information about their disease, to raise the level of conversation with their physicians to a level that directs treatment to the specific type of therapy that patients need.

So how exactly can you find your stage? The PCRI provides a simple six question quiz. You, with your medical records, can figure out your stage by going online to pcri.org and filling in the answers to those six questions. What is your Gleason score? What is your PSA? What is your clinical stage? And, what do the scans show? So, if you get a copy of your medical records and go online, you can immediately figure out which stage of prostate cancer you have. Many of you patients have been confronted with complex nomograms and staging systems and tables that render percentages of this or that outcome.

The PCRI quiz simply allocates you to one of five categories and, once you've determined that, there are subtypes within each category. Each of these subtypes is attached to a narrow range of treatment options. This is not to imply that everyone will get the same treatment. Men with prostate cancer have dozens of treatment options, but they don't all apply equally to every stage. But with a specific stage, experts agree that certain treatments are superior to others. And if you know those expert recommended treatments, that's the starting place for the conversation with your physician. There may be a lot of fine factors, such as your age, your sexual functionality, your personal preferences about treatment, but at least you have a starting point.

The five stages of prostate cancer are Sky, Teal, Azure, Indigo, and Royal. The first three stages, that is the men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer - Sky, Teal, and Azure - are broken down into those three stages because of the radically different way each one can behave. Azure is like a real cancer, that if it isn't cured it can spread and move to early mortality. Sky is essentially harmless, it doesn't spread. People need to be watched, but they don't need immediate treatment. Men with Teal are sort of in a transition and, typically, most, not all but most men, will need treatment. The last two stages of blue, Indigo and Royal, represent men that have relapsed disease, after surgery or radiation, or advanced disease - that means either spread to the bones or they've developed resistance to hormonal therapy.

 Once you take the quiz, things should be fairly self-explanatory. But questions are going to arise. The PCRI provides an extensive amount of information on its website at pcri.org. PCRI also offers a free helpline. You can call or email and get specific answers to your questions. Prostate cancer is a disease in motion. The earlier you get to the proper treatment, the better the outcome. Delayed treatment means that you're going to be fighting a more advanced foe, and you're going to need stronger weapons. Get the right treatment the first time by knowing what you're dealing with. Know your stage and that will open the door to the best possible treatment.  

Thanks for watching. For more information subscribe to our channel or go to pcri.org.