Clinical staging uses information from the Gleason score assigned and the results of your PSA and DRE tests. These tests are used to screen for prostate cancer. The PSA test is a type of blood test that measures prostate-specific antigen levels in your blood. The DRE test is a digital rectal exam that involves examining an individual’s pelvis, lower rectum, and lower stomach area. It allows a doctor to check for health problems such as prostate cancer.
Based on the results of these tests, your doctor can recommend the need for further testing, x-rays, CT scans, bone scans, MRI, etc.
Pathologic staging of prostate cancer is based on the information you find during surgery. It also includes the lab results of any prostate tissue that has been removed during the surgery. The surgeon may remove the entire prostate here, along with some lymph nodes. The lymph nodes removed can prove to be a valuable source of information for pathologic staging.