Prostate cancer (PCa) incidence has stabilized but not in patients at a young age. We assessed patient characteristics and disease progression in early-onset PCa.
A retrospective cohort of 28,039 newly diagnosed PCa patients aged ≥35 years was constructed using the Taiwan Cancer Registry in 2008-2016. Patients were categorized by age at diagnosis (≤54, 55-59, 60-69, 70-74, and ≥75 years). The clinical stage at diagnosis, Gleason score, prostate-specific antigen level at diagnosis, Charlson’s comorbidity index, and primary and secondary treatments for PCa were included in the analysis. All-cause mortality and prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM) were reported. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) estimating the risks of death and of receiving secondary cancer treatment were generated by Cox hazard models.
In patients aged ≤54, 55-59, and 60-69 years, about 60% of them in each group were classified into the high-risk, very high-risk, or metastatic group. However, young patients ≤54 years had a higher risk of PCSM than patients aged 60-69 years (HR = 1.22; 95% CI = 1.10-1.49). This trend of an increased risk in PCSM remained for high-risk, very high-risk, or metastatic patients (HR = 1.24; 95% CI = 1.01-1.51), but not in low- or intermediate-risk patients. Besides, young patients diagnosed with high-risk diseases had the highest risk of receiving secondary cancer treatment within 180 days after completing primary treatment among all age groups (HR = 1.32; 95% CI = 1.07-1.63).
PCa arising in young patients ≤54 years of age, especially those with a high risk or metastatic form, might be more aggressive than that in other age groups.

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