Treating Prostatitis with a Pelvic Wand
Use of a pelvic wand for prostatitis treatment (specifically chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome) can provide significant relief for men who are living with this form of prostatitis. The personal wand allows men to self-treat internal myofascial trigger points in the pelvic floor, which in turn reduces pelvic muscle tenderness and pain.
The pelvic wand is curved and acts as an extension of a man’s finger to locate the internal trigger points. Once men are trained and supervised on how to use the device, they can treat themselves at home several times a week.
To demonstrate the effectiveness of the pelvic wand for chronic pelvic pain syndrome, one study evaluated its use for six months among 106 men. Nearly all of them reported that self-treatment was very or moderately effective in reducing pain. Similar findings were reported in a subsequent six-month study that involved 314 men.
How did use of the pelvic wand for prostatitis affect how much medication men took for pain? Yet another six-month study involving 298 men and 67 women took on this challenge. After six months of using the pelvic wand, medication use dropped by 36.9 percent, and cessation was significantly associated with relief in all symptoms.
Men who have chronic pelvic pain syndrome may want to talk to their doctor about using a pelvic wand for myofascial trigger point self-treatment.
PCA3 Test to Diagnose Cancer in Men with Prostatitis
A new study indicates that despite previous findings, high levels of PCA3 may be present in men who have prostatitis. The Prostate CAncer gene 3 (PCA3) is produced only by prostate cancer cells and has been believed not to be affected by prostate size (e.g., inflammation associated with prostatitis). This characteristic has led some experts to suggest using PCA3 testing in the general male population to help with early diagnosis of prostate cancer.
Based on new discoveries, however, PCA3 testing may not always help diagnose prostate cancer in men with prostatitis (prostate inflammation). The team that arrived at that conclusion evaluated 260 urine samples (PCA3 is a urine test) from men with suspected prostate cancer. They then analyzed the fate of 16 men who had a PCA3 ratio greater than 100 and a prostate biopsy.
Sixty-five percent of the men had prostate cancer, and 65 percent of them were high grade. Among the men who did not have prostate cancer as shown by the biopsy, 83 percent had acute prostatitis at biopsy. Therefore, doctors should not assume that inflammation does not elevate PCA3 and also aware that some men who have extremely high PCA3 levels can have prostatitis.
MRI Identifies Chronic Prostatitis From Cancer
High levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) present a challenge for physicians, since high PSA can occur in men who have prostate cancer or chronic prostatitis, or both. A high PSA typically causes doctors to suspect prostate cancer, which can prompt them to order potentially unnecessary tests such as prostate biopsy.
Although conventional MRIs are not adequate for distinguishing between prostate cancer and prostatitis, some experts believe a specific type of MRI —high spatial resolution dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI, or HR-CE-MRI—is superior to the conventional approach. If true, this new technique could reduce unneeded procedures and stress associated with the uncertainty of knowing whether one has prostate cancer.
Fifty-four men with prostate cancer who were scheduled for prostatectomy underwent HR-CE-MRI of the prostate, and features of the MRIs suggestive of chronic prostatitis were compared to specimens obtained during surgery. Clinicians observed specific features suggestive of chronic prostatitis which contrasted with those of prostate cancer.
Based on their preliminary results, the authors reported that the HR-CE-MRI method was accurate for differentiating between prostate cancer and chronic prostatitis and “can lead to more accurate MRI staging or prostate cancer which can affect treatment choice and clinical outcome.” If this MRI may help distinguish chronic prostatitis from prostate cancer, it also could offer more peace of mind to men who find themselves in this position.