Prostate cancer

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Prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN), atypical small acinar proliferation (ASAP) and proliferative inflammatory atrophy (PIA) are conditions of the prostate. They are usually found when doctors remove tissue from the prostate to diagnose or treat a different problem, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Some experts classify PIN, ASAP and PIA as precancerous conditions, but most experts don’t think they are linked to a higher chance of developing prostate cancer. So men with PIN, ASAP and PIA aren’t treated, and only men who have ASAP need follow-up.

Prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN)

PIN is an abnormal condition of the epithelial cells that line the glands of the prostate. It can affect more than one area of the prostate (called multifocal PIN). PIN is usually found by a biopsy to check for prostate cancer or during a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), a type of surgery used to treat BPH.

Atypical small acinar proliferation (ASAP)

ASAP is an abnormal growth of gland cells in the prostate. Some men with ASAP may have prostate cancer, so some doctors recommend doing a follow-up biopsy in 6 months. If the repeat biopsy also shows ASAP, doctors may recommend treatment.

Proliferative inflammatory atrophy (PIA)

PIA means there are areas of inflammation in the prostate and the prostate cells look smaller than normal.

benign prostatic hyperplasia

A non-cancerous (benign) enlargement of the prostate.

Also called benign prostatic hypertrophy.

epithelial cell

A specialized cell that makes up the epithelium (a layer of cells that makes up the surface of the skin, and lines cavities, glands and passages in the body). Some epithelial cells make mucus, hormones or other secretions.

The 4 types of epithelial cells are squamous cells, columnar cells, cuboidal cells and transitional cells.


The removal of cells or tissues for examination under a microscope.

Different types of biopsies include incisional biopsy, excisional biopsy and needle biopsy. Sometimes imaging techniques are used to guide the biopsy, as in ultrasound-guided biopsy and computed tomography (CT)–guided biopsy.