[Geriatric specificities of prostate cancer]

Prog Urol. 2019 Nov;29(14):828-839. doi: 10.1016/j.purol.2019.09.002.
[Article in French]


Purpose: To describe the epidemiology of prostate cancer (PCa) and its natural history in the elderly patient. To propose adaptations of geriatric evaluation specific to PCa. Recall therapeutic options and the treatment options specific to elderly patients.

Method: Bibliographic research from the Medline bibliographic database (NLM Pubmed tool) and Embase, as well as on the websites of scientific societies of geriatrics, from the National Cancer Institute using the following keywords: elderly, geriatrics, prostate cancer, diagnosis, treatment.

Results: The median age at diagnosis for PCa is 69 years old, making PCa the very type of cancer of the elderly. The specific mortality of the disease increases with age. This translates two of its characteristics. First, a diagnosis at higher grade and stage is more common in older patients than in younger patients. Secondly, use of curative therapeutic options is less common in elderly patients than in younger patients. SIOG recommends a specific geriatric assessment for patients with PCa, which may be useful, but the need for an initial detection of cognitive disorders is open to criticism. There is no therapeutic trial, if only prospective, dedicated to elderly patients with PCa. However, decision-making in the elderly patient with PCa must pursue two goals: first, the respect of the expectations specific to each patient and secondly, the search for the global clinical benefit; goals that should not be restricted to elderly patients.

Conclusion: PCa in the elderly patient follow the current guidelines for diagnostic and for treatment. Compliance with these guidelines should eliminate both the late diagnosis and the under-treatment actually observed.

Keywords: Cancer de la prostate; Diagnosis; Diagnostic; Elderly; Geriatrics; Gériatrie; Personne âgée; Prostate cancer; Traitement; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / therapy