We examined the relationship between age and pathological stage in 444 consecutive patients who underwent pelvic lymphadenectomy and radical retropubic prostatectomy for clinically localized adenocarcinoma of the prostate. Pathological stage of cancer was determined postoperatively as organ-confined, capsular penetration (cancer through prostatic capsule), seminal vesicle involvement or lymph node metastases. Patient age ranged from 34 to 75 years. The majority of the patients had clinical stage B1 disease with induration confined to less than 1 lobe of the gland. In this group a statistically significant (p equals 0.001, chi-square test for trend) correlation between increased age and higher pathological stage was found. We also found that older men with clinical stage B1 disease had a statistically significant trend toward higher Gleason grade. An explanation for our findings might be the masking of prostatic induration by benign prostatic hypertrophy, clearly a disease of aging men. We suggest that increased age is a relative risk factor for advanced pathological findings in men with clinical stage B1 prostatic cancer.
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