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Prostate cancer
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Prostate cancer

Contributors: Abhijeet Waghray MD, Michael W. Winter MD, Benjamin L. Mazer MD, MBA, Paritosh Prasad MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Prostate cancer is malignant neoplasm, most commonly adenocarcinoma; sarcomas and small cell cancers are rarely observed. It is the most common noncutaneous cancer affecting men, with over 1 million new cases diagnosed annually. Incidence of prostate cancer rises with age, with approximately 11% of men in the United States diagnosed at some point in their life. The mortality rate is approximately 20%. Affected patients are asymptomatic until the disease has reached an advanced stage. Screening with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) reveals abnormalities in the serum and assists in early diagnosis.

Most prostate cancers are identified at the local stage through annual screenings, and the majority of patients are asymptomatic at that stage. At later stages, physical findings may include perineal pain and urinary changes (eg, frequency, retention, nocturia). Urinary changes in men are more frequently the result of benign prostate conditions, which are sometimes found as comorbidities. Physical examination may reveal areas of induration, asymmetry, and/or prostate nodule. Diagnosis is confirmed via prostate biopsy.

Risk factors include advancing age, family history, obesity, poor diet, elevated insulin levels, and vitamin E supplementation. Disease is more common in individuals of African descent. Individual susceptibility genes are now being identified. Men with BRCA mutations, primarily BRCA2 mutations, are at increased risk of prostate cancer. Treatment depends on the level of risk and the age of the patient.

If cancer has spread, physical findings may include bone pain or pathologic fracture. See metastatic prostate carcinoma.


C61 – Malignant neoplasm of prostate

399068003 – Malignant tumor of prostate

Look For

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • Chronic prostatitis
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Bladder cancer
  • Prostatic stones

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Drug Reaction Data

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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Last Reviewed:07/14/2020
Last Updated:04/25/2023
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Prostate cancer
A medical illustration showing key findings of Prostate cancer : Hematuria
Imaging Studies image of Prostate cancer - imageId=6847001. Click to open in gallery.  caption: '<span>Axial CT image demonstrates an  enlarged, bulky prostate gland which indents the bladder wall. Biopsy  was consistent with prostate carcinoma. </span>'
Axial CT image demonstrates an enlarged, bulky prostate gland which indents the bladder wall. Biopsy was consistent with prostate carcinoma.
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.