Infection & Inflammation in Men with Prostate Cancer

Prostatitis, or inflammation of the prostate gland, is not a form of cancer. It is also not the same as having an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

It is known that a man can have this issue at the very same time with prostate cancer. This one is also known as Prostatitis and can cause pain in the pelvic area and should be treated. Acute bacterial prostatitis is rare, relatively severe, simple to diagnose, and curable with antibiotics.

Different types of prostatitis

Chronic bacterial prostatitis is more difficult to diagnose but is typically associated with a chronic prostate bacterial infection with repeating urinary tract infections. In this case, antibiotics are the primary form of treatment. Over 90% of prostatitis diagnoses do not have a bacterial infection, although men often report prostate and pelvic pain and urinary symptoms. This remains somewhat of a medical mystery. Prostatitis is diagnosed by testing for bacterial infections and other urological condition that could cause pelvic or prostate pain. At this point in the diagnosis process, the condition is known as chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS).

Approximately 6-8% of men have experienced prostatitis-like symptoms. It is the most common urology diagnosis in men younger than 50 and is the third most common urology diagnosis in men over 50. This condition has a significant impact on the patients’ quality of life due to the constant pain. A universal treatment method is often not effective and must be individualized for each patient. The treatment goal is focused on symptom relief, improve engagement in daily activities, and thereby positively affect quality of life.

Prostate cancer and prostatitis?

Men with prostatitis often are diagnosed with prostate cancer more than men without prostatitis. It is important to note that there is no reliable evidence that prostatitis increases the risk of developing prostate cancer. It does, however, increase the chance of being diagnosed with prostate cancer. This connection may exist because men who have prostatitis are more likely to seek out urology care. Men with prostatitis may also be more likely to worry about prostate disease and have a need for more frequent PSA testing, therefore increasing their likelihood of a prostate biopsy.
Inflammation of the prostate gland can have an impact on PSA screening for prostate cancer. While bacterial infection of the prostate gland can elevate the PSA levels 10 or even 100 fold, treatment usually brings down the level to baseline but takes at least 6 months after effective antibiotic treatment. For this reason, men with chronic prostatitis will have more frequent PSA testing than men who do not.

Nonbacterial CP/CPPS can cause minor increases in PSA scores. However, an elevated PSA should never be attributable to CP/CPPS unless the patient and/or urologist is looking to delay performing a biopsy. Be sure to talk with your healthcare team if you have concerns about any infection or inflammation of the prostate.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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