Elderly patients and prostate biopsy. How old is too old?
Background & aims. Based on autopsy finding that many elderly men bear clinically-insignificant prostate
cancer, physicians tend to be reluctant to advise PSA testing in men > 75y and to recommend prostate biopsy,
particularly in men who suffer from lower urinary tract symptoms. Herein, we compared the outcome of prostate
biopsy in men ≤ 75 and > 75y to determine whether such procedure is worth in the elderly patient.
Methods. We assessed the rates of prostate cancer and of clinically-significant prostate cancer in men ≤ 75
and > 75y who underwent prostate biopsy at our Institution. We also assessed prostate volume, peak flow rate,
post-void residual and International Prostate Symptoms Score.
Results. Of 3350 with PSA up to 20 ng/ml, 387 (11.5%) were > 75y. They had higher PSA, similar prostate
volume, lower Peak Flow rate and International Prostate Symptoms Score and higher post-void residual than
their younger counterpart. Prostate cancer detection rate was 62%, as opposed to 43% in their younger counterpart
(p < 0.0001); clinically-significant prostate cancer rate was 42.9% as opposed to 24% (p < 0.0001).
Findings were almost the same in the 2740 patients with PSA up to 10 ng/ml. Multivariate analysis pointed out
that all clinical variables independently predicted clinically-significant prostate cancer but elderly patients with
PSA up to 10 ng/ml had an almost 5-fold greater risk of such diagnosis than their younger counterpart.
Conclusions. Given their risk of harboring clinically-significant prostate cancer, elderly patients with rising PSA
deserve prostate biopsy as early detection may provide significant benefits in terms of disease-free and overall
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
© Società Italiana di Gerontologia e Geriatria (SIGG) , 2018
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