Objectives: This study determined the frequency of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and cancer of the prostate (CaP) in China.
Methods: Prostate specimens from 321 unselected autopsies were collected from 1989 to 1992. Slices were cut vertically every 0.5 cm from apex to base. Five to 12 slices were obtained from each prostate. Specimens were stained with hematoxylin-eosin and Masson trichrome. Sixty surgical specimens obtained from cystoprostatectomies with intact prostate were included to determine the frequency of latent CaP.
Results: The frequency of BPH, by age, was as follows: 41 to 50 years, 13.2%; 51 to 60 years, 20%; 61 to 70 years, 50%; 71 to 80 years, 57.1%; 81 to 90 years, 83.3%. The frequency of latent CaP, by age, was as follows: 41 to 50 years, 2.2%; 51 to 60 years, 9.3%; 61 to 70 years, 5.9%; 70 years or older, 25%. Incidental CaP was found in 4.9% (33 of 676) of BPH surgical specimens. The incidence of and mortality from CaP in Beijing were 2.41 per 100,000 men and 1.19 per 100,000 men, respectively, between 1985 and 1987.
Conclusions: BPH was rare in China in the early years of this century, but it has become a common disease in recent decades. The histologic frequency of BPH in China was similar to that in Western countries, but the histologic frequency of latent CaP was less than half that in Western countries. The incidence of and mortality from CaP in China are about 20 times less than those in Western countries. Histologic CaP in a Chinese man is not as likely to evolve into clinical CaP as in a Western man.