- The prostate is a male reproductive organ that contributes seminal fluid to the ejaculate.
- The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut, averaging 20 to 25 g in volume in an adult male; tends to enlarge after age 50 years
- Three distinct zones delineate the functional anatomy of the prostate: peripheral zone (largest, neighbors rectal wall, palpable on digital rectal exam [DRE], most common location for prostate cancer), central zone (contains the ejaculatory ducts), and transition zone (located centrally, adjacent to the urethra).
- Prostatic epithelial cells produce prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which is used as a tumor marker and in screening.
An estimated 268,490 men in the United States will be newly diagnosed with carcinoma of the prostate (CaP) in 2022, representing 14% of all new cancer diagnoses.
- An estimated 34,500 men in the United States will die of CaP in 2022, representing 5.7% of all cancer deaths (1).
- Median age at diagnosis is 67 years; probability of CaP 10.9% (1 in 9) ≥70 years
- Autopsy studies find foci of latent CaP in 50% of men in their 8th decade of life.
Etiology and Pathophysiology
- Adenocarcinoma: >95%; nonadenocarcinoma: <5% (most common transitional cell carcinoma)
- Location of CaP: 70% peripheral zone, 20% transitional zone, 5–10% central zone
Age >50 years, African American race, positive family history
Finasteride use associated with moderate risk reduction in CaP but associated with an increased risk of high-grade disease
Screening for prostate cancer is controversial:
- U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF): “For men aged 55 to 69 years, the decision to undergo periodic PSA-based screening for prostate cancer should be an individual one and should include discussion of the potential benefits and harms of screening with their clinician. Screening offers a small potential benefit of reducing the chance of death from prostate cancer in some men. However, many men will experience potential harms of screening” (2)[A]. USPSTF recommends against PSA screening for men ≥70 years old (2).
- The American Urological Association (AUA) panel recommends for men aged 55 to 69 years the shared decision-making between physician and patient regarding PSA screening.
- PSA screening is not recommended in men aged <40 years or any man with <10 years of estimated life expectancy.
- When providing informed consent, data shows if you screen 1,000 men between 55 and 69 years old:
- 240 will have a positive result; only ~100 will truly have CaP; of the 100 with cancer, 80 will agree to treatment.
- Treatment will result in one less person dying, but 50 will develop erectile dysfunction (ED); 15 permanent incontinence
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