Contributor: Gordon K. Klintworth
Adenocarcinoma of the prostate gland [adenocarcinoma - prostate gland] is the second most frequent malignant neoplasm in men in the USA and many other developed countries. Known risk factors include aging, African American ancestry, and a family history of prostate cancer. Adenocarcinoma accounts for 98% of prostatic cancers and the tumor is a disease of elderly men; <1% of patients are <50 years old. In autopsy studies the tumor is found in 34-50% of men >80 years old. The tumor spreads by direct extension into adjacent structures such as the seminal vesicles. It usually invades the neighboring nerves and can spread to the vertebra via the Batson venous plexus. This is believed to occur when the intrabdominal pressure is elevated. Metastases from prostatic carcinoma [carcinoma - metastatic] can occur in the eye, orbit and other ocular adnexal tissues. As a result of early diagnostic techniques (including screening for PSA, digital rectal examinations and ultrasound guided biopsy) and innovations in therapy the 5-year survival rates have improved during the past 3 decades. In the histopathologic diagnosis of early prostatic carcinoma, especially in needle biopsy specimens, several disorders need to be excluded, including benign prostatic hyperplasia [hyperplasia - benign prostatic].