The type of prostate cancer tells about the type of cell the cancer started in. Knowing this helps your doctor decide which treatment you need. They use the information about your prostate cancer type along with:
- how abnormal the cancer cells look under the microscope (the grade)
- the size of the cancer and whether it has spread (the stage)
Another way doctors may describe your cancer is as localised, locally advanced or advanced.
Adenocarcinomas are cancers that develop in the gland cells that line the prostate gland. They are the most common type of prostate cancer. Nearly everyone with prostate cancer has this type.
Ductal adenocarcinoma starts in the cells that line the ducts (tubes) of the prostate gland. It tends to grow and spread more quickly than acinar adenocarcinoma.
Transitional cell (or urothelial) cancer
Transitional cell cancer of the prostate starts in the cells that line the tube carrying urine to the outside of the body (the urethra). This type of cancer usually starts in the bladder and spreads into the prostate. But rarely it can start in the prostate and may spread into the bladder entrance and nearby tissues.
Squamous cell cancer
These cancers develop from flat cells that cover the prostate. They tend to grow and spread more quickly than adenocarcinoma of the prostate.
Small cell prostate cancer
Small cell prostate cancer is made up of small round cells. It’s a type of neuroendocrine cancer.
Other rare cancers
Other rare cancers can develop in the prostate, these include: