Histopathological results of radical prostatectomy specimen of men younger than 50 years of age at the time of surgery: possible implications for prostate cancer screening programs?

World J Urol. 2023 Feb;41(2):421-425. doi: 10.1007/s00345-023-04287-1. Epub 2023 Jan 19.


Introduction: Prostate cancer (PCa) detection is usually achieved by PSA measurement and, if indicated, further diagnostics. The recent EAU guidelines recommend a first PSA test at the age of 50 years, if no family history of PCa or BRCA2 mutation exists. However, some men might harbor significant PCa at younger age; thus we evaluated the histopathological results of men treated with radical prostatectomy (RP) in their 40 s at our institution.

Materials and methods: We relied on the data of all patients who underwent RP in our institution between 1992 and 2020 and were younger than 50 years at the time of surgery. The histopathological results are descriptively presented. Moreover, we tested the effect of a positive family history on the descriptive results.

Results: Overall, 1225 patients younger than 50 years underwent RP at our institution. Median age was 47 years. Most patients showed favorable histopathological characteristics. However, 20% of patients had extraprostatic disease (≥ pT3a), 15% had ISUP Gleason grade group ≥ 3, and 7% had positive lymph nodes (pN1). Patients with a known positive family history did not have a higher rate of adverse disease as their counterparts with a negative family history.

Discussion: Our data show that the majority of patients who were diagnosed with PCa at a very young age had favorable histopathological RP characteristics. However, a non-negligible proportion of patients already showed locally advanced disease and would have probably benefited from earlier PCa detection. This should be kept in mind when PCa screening recommendations are proposed.

Keywords: Prostate cancer; Radical prostatectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Prostate / pathology
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Prostatectomy / methods
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / pathology


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen