Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men, with approximately 1,276,106 new cases per year in the world.

According to data of the Observatory of the cancer of the AECC, in Spain 31,728 new cases were diagnosed and 6,061 people died due to prostate cancer in 2018.

The information provided on this site is not a substitute for medical consultation but intended only for information purposes on prostate cancer.

Types of Tumours

Although the prostate is made up of many different cell types, more than 99% of prostate cancers develop on glandular cells. These cells are responsible for producing the prostatic fluid, which forms part of the semen.

This malignant tumour, can grow in three ways:

Local Growth

It is caused by tumour growth and invasion of the prostatic capsule. Later, the tumour can break through the capsule and grow by invading more tissues and organs. The invasion of the bladder or rectum takes time.


Lymphatic spread

There is a relationship between the size of the original tumour and the likelihood of it affecting the lymph nodes.

Hematogenous spread

The cancerous cells spread through blood vessels, normally towards the bone.


Phases of a prostate tumour

In order to determine the most appropriate treatment for prostate cancer, it is important to classify the tumour, that is, to determine what stage it is at.

The system that is most often used for classification is the Tumour, Node, Metastasis (TNM). These acronyms refer to 3 aspects of cancer: the T refers to the size, N to the involvement of lymph nodes and the M the involvement of other organs.  When it is preceded by a p (pT, pN) means that the pathological anatomy occurred after a surgical intervention.

Based on these aspects, prostate cancer is grouped into the following stages or phases:

T I: cancer is not palpable or visible by diagnostic means. A diagnosis is accidental (when the patient visits the urologist for other reasons) and is observed in the tissue obtained during a transurethral resection of the prostate or it is observed in a biopsy due to an increase of the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen).

T II: Palpable or visible tumor that does not extend further than the prostate. The tumour has not spread outside the prostate.

T III: The cancer exceeds the capsule and affects tissues surrounding the prostate such as the seminal vesicles.

T IV: the tumour invades adjacent tissues such as the rectum and external sphincter, etc.

Taking into account the TNM classification and, where available, the Gleason grade of the biopsy, as well as the PSA, a classification of the stage can be made. In general, the lower the stage, the lower the spread of cancer.


Males over 50 are at particular risk of developing prostate cancer and need to be checked regularly to enable an early detection and diagnosis. If you would like to speak to a Doctor about a prostate cancer test, you can find a list of English-Speaking Doctors in the ESHA Spain directory here.



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