Prostatitis vs Prostate Cancer: #ZEROStrong Together

Did you know that prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related death in American men, behind lung cancer? According to statistics, approximately 1 in 41 men will develop prostate cancer during their lifetime; therefore, knowing all of the facts can save a life. It is helpful to keep in mind a few things when it comes to prostate health. Inflamed or enlarged prostates, for example, can often present with similar symptoms as prostate cancer. As far as prostatitis vs prostate cancer is concerned, there are several key differences to be aware of.

To learn more about how to raise awareness of prostate cancer and prostatitis, continue reading.

Prostatitis vs Prostate Cancer

A primary difference between prostatitis and prostate cancer is that prostatitis is a benign condition. In most cases, this is accompanied by swelling, inflammation, or pain in the prostate. On the other hand, prostate cancer occurs when the cells in your prostate begin to overpopulate. 

One of the symptoms that may be observed across both diagnoses is a change in the flow of urine. As a result of prostatitis as well as prostate cancer, the force of the stream may appear to be weaker. Blood could also be present in the semen with both conditions, as well as signs of erectile dysfunction. 

The Differences

There are four different types of prostatitis: acute bacterial prostatitis (ABP), chronic bacterial prostatitis (CBP), chronic pelvic pain (CPPS), and asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis. These are some of the symptoms that may be present in prostatitis that are not present in prostate cancer:

  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Pain present in the penis, testicles, or perineum 
  • Painful urination
  • Pain during sex or during ejaculation

For prostate cancer some of the different symptoms may be:

  • Difficulty urinating
  • Blood in your urine
  • Weight loss
  • Bone pain
  • Signs of erectile dysfunction

Risk Factors

It is important to understand the various prevention methods available for prostate cancer, even though there is no clear cause. Prostatitis is typically associated with irritation, nerve damage, and stress as risk factors. A number of causes may contribute to bacterial prostatitis, including:

  • Bladder issues such as stones or infections
  • Catheter use
  • UTIs
  • Abscesses and stones in the prostate
  • Urinary retention

In regard to prostate cancer, factors such as advancing age should be considered. After the age of 50, the risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer increases significantly. In addition to family history, race, and obesity, there are other factors to consider. There is an increased risk of developing prostate cancer if you have a close relative who has the disease. The same is true for obesity. In some cases, obesity can be a hereditary condition, which can increase your chances even further. Although there is no clear reason for this, African Americans are at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer than any other race. 

Related: When Should You Get Checked for Prostate Cancer?

Awareness and Testing

Testing for prostatitis vs. prostate cancer is available in a variety of ways. The digital rectal exam, or DRE, can be used to detect both conditions. In this procedure, the specialist uses a glove and lubricant to examine your prostate physically. If the healthcare provider notices any abnormalities in the prostate’s size, shape, or texture, further testing may be necessary.

Related: The Importance of Getting a PSA Screening

There are also other tests that can be performed, such as colonoscopy, transrectal ultrasound, and blood tests. Blood tests will be conducted to determine the level of PSA, or prostate specific antigen. If the results indicate high levels, you may be developing prostatitis, prostate cancer, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). An infection, however, may cause PSA levels to rise, which is why a healthcare professional should be consulted.

Be #ZEROstrong with USOC

When it comes to prostate cancer versus prostatitis, it is imperative to consider all risk factors and preventive measures. Join us on October 29th in Charlotte, NC for the annual ZERO Prostate Cancer 5k to raise awareness. Whether you participate in the race or donate, you can make a significant contribution to this cause. Let’s raise awareness about this illness and bring hope to families across the board. Click the button below to get started. We can’t wait to hear from you!

ZERO Prostate Cancer 5K