Types of prostate cancer

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The considerable majority of prostate cancers originate in the glandular areas of the gland, known as adenocarcinomas mainly in the peripheral (outer) zone of the prostate. 

Other types of primary carcinoma are very uncommon. 

Primary transitional and squamous cell cancers are described but may also be secondary to primary tumours in the bladder.

Carcinoid and small cell carcinomas may arise de novo or develop from prostate adenocarcinomas. These tumours may be sensitive to chemotherapy but are highly malignant with a very poor prognosis. 

Sarcomas represent approximately 0.1% of prostatic malignancy. 

Rhabdomyosarcomas are described in younger patients. Leiomyosarcomas occur usually after the age of 50. 

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma may arise within the prostate and both chronic lymphocytic and acute leukaemias may cause prostatic infiltration. 

Secondary tumours of the prostate will most commonly arise from direct infiltration from bladder cancers, but secondary deposits from primary tumours such as malignant melanoma and bronchial carcinoma are described.