Prostate Cancer: Different Types and How to Treat Them

Sep 21 • 2015

Did you know that there are several different types of prostate cancer? The symptoms and treatment options can vary depending on which form of cancer is diagnosed. In honor of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, educate yourself on these different forms of this disease and how to identify them.

Acinar Adenocarcinoma
This is the most common type of prostate cancer – more than 90% of all cases fall within this category. This particular disease starts from gland cells within the prostate. The most common treatment options are surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and hormone therapy. Depending on how aggressive the cancer is and what your medical history looks like, your doctor can recommend the best plan of action.

Ductal Adenocarcinoma
With this type of prostate cancer, the cells that line the tubes of the prostate gland are the starting point for the disease. Because it tends to spread more quickly than acinar adenocarcinoma, it is more likely that a male diagnosed with this will be at a more advanced stage. As a result, surgery is often the best treatment option.

Transitional Cell Cancer
This type of prostate cancer begins in the urethra or the bladder. It can spread to the prostate and nearby tissues because the urethra passes through here when carrying urine. Surgery and chemotherapy are the most common treatment options for this form.

Squamous Cell Cancer
Squamous cells are flat cells that cover the prostate gland. Squamous cell cancer begins in these cells and can spread more quickly than many of the other forms of prostate cancer. The treatments used for acinar adenocarcinoma are often used in this situation as well.

Carcinoid of the Prostate
Carcinoid tumors are extremely rare and tend to grow more slowly. They begin in the cells of the neuroendocrine system and can be present for many years without any symptoms. Because of this, your doctor may recommend simply monitoring them on a case-by-case basis. If the tumors begin to grow quickly, surgery is often the next step.

Small Cell Cancer
This type of prostate cancer occurs when there is a neuroendocrine tumor made up of round, small cells. It is difficult to identify this kind of cancer early because it often does not cause a high result in a prostate specific antigen test. Hormone therapy is not effective in this case, so chemotherapy is usually recommended.

This last type of prostate cancer starts in the muscle cells and can grow very quickly. Leiomyosarcoma is the most commonly diagnosed type of prostate sarcoma. Men between the ages of 35 and 60 are at the biggest risk. In this case, your doctor will likely perform surgery to remove the prostate.

If you have a family history of prostate cancer or feel that you may be at high risk, speak with your doctor today to see what you can do to lower your risk.