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About Prostate Cancer


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Put simply, prostatitis hurts. This painful condition—an inflamed, swollen, and tender prostate—can be caused by a bacterial infection or other factors.

The National Center for Health Statistics estimates that about 25% of all men who see a doctor for urological problems have symptoms of prostatitis. An estimated half of all men will experience some of these symptoms during their lifetime. Prostatitis is the most common cause of urinary tract infections in men. In fact, U.S. men make about two million trips to the doctor each year seeking help for the symptoms of prostatitis or other irritative prostatic conditions.

The major complaint in men with prostatitis is pain in the perineum (the area between the rectum and the testicles). They may also experience aches, pain in the joints or muscles and lower back, blood in the urine, pain or burning during urination, and painful ejaculation.

Prostatitis is a benign ailment—it is not cancer, and it does not lead to cancer. It is not always curable, but it is almost always treatable. Antibiotics are the mainstay of therapy for prostatitis.

There is question as to whether continued inflammation of the prostate may lead to the eventual development of prostate cancer, and current studies are underway to determine if reducing inflammation can prevent prostate cancer. At this time, however, it is believed that prostate cancer is a result of a combination of factors, such as diet, lifestyle, genetics, and environmental exposures. Many of these factors may also contribute to prostatitis(The information on this page is adapted from Dr. Patrick Walsh's Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer.)

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