This year, out of the 241,740 Americans diagnosed with prostate cancer, 10% of those diagnoses will be for early onset disease. Patients with prostate cancer are usually 70 to 80 years old, and their cancers are slow-growing. In the last 20 years, the number of younger men, defined as patients under 61 years, diagnosed with prostate cancer has multiplied by sixfold.
According to a study published in the journal Nature Reviews: Urology, prostate cancer in younger men has a higher chance of being aggressive. Kathleen A. Cooney, MD, and researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. conducted a study in which they compared normal and cancerous prostate cancer tissue and DNA in younger men. They researched whether younger men with prostate cancer tend to have inherited genetic mutations, and they indeed found more genetic variants in patients who were diagnosed at a younger age than patients who were diagnosed at an older age.
Cooney said these findings suggest that for patients with early onset prostate cancer, a new subtype might exist that requires more specialty expertise. In addition, Cooney said that screenings may miss the rapidly growing tumors due to a short time frame before patients experience clinical symptoms.
The number of younger men diagnosed with prostate cancer has increased nearly 6-fold in the last 20 years, and the disease is more likely to be aggressive in these younger men, according to a new analysis from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. His PSA was only 9, but the disease had already spread to his ribs, spine and lymph nodes.