Stage 4 prostate cancer diagnosis

In stage 4 prostate cancer, the cancer has grown very large or has spread to other areas of the body. Doctors use imaging tests to help diagnose stage 4 prostate cancer.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Doctors use imaging tests and laboratory tests to confirm a diagnosis of stage 4 prostate cancer.

Stage 4 prostate cancer is cancer that begins in the prostate and grows to involve nearby organs or spreads to other areas of the body.

Stage 4 prostate cancer is an uncommon diagnosis. Most cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed at an earlier stage, when the cancer is confined to the prostate.

To diagnose stage 4 prostate cancer, doctors typically use:

  • Imaging tests. Imaging tests may help your doctor understand the size and extent of your prostate cancer. Tests may include ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, computerized tomography (CT) scan, positron emission tomography (PET) and bone scan.

    Which tests you undergo depends on your situation, such as whether you're experiencing signs and symptoms.

  • Biopsy. To confirm the diagnosis of prostate cancer, your doctor may recommend a biopsy procedure to remove a sample of suspicious cells for laboratory testing. In a lab, doctors can examine the cells and determine if they're cancerous.
May. 13, 2014 See more In-depth