Can Prostatitis Cause Prostate Cancer?
If you are suffering with a chronic prostate condition such as prostatitis it is natural to wonder, “can prostatitis cause prostate cancer?”. Studies have shown there is a possible connection between prostatitis and prostate cancer. Knowing that, you might want to take steps to reduce your risk factors.
What Is the Risk?
In January 2010, researchers published the California Men’s Health Study, which evaluated the association between prostatitis, sexually transmitted diseases, and prostate cancer among 68,675 men. In general, the men with a history of prostatitis had a 30% increased risk of prostate cancer compared to men who did not have a history of prostatitis. While this does not definitively say whether prostatitis can cause prostate cancer, there does appear to be an increased risk.
The results of a meta-analysis published in Urology attempted to clarify the relationship between prostatitis and prostate cancer. After analyzing the data, the reviewers reported an increased risk of prostate cancer among men who had a history of prostatitis as well as among those who had a history of gonorrhea or syphilis. These findings suggest that infections, including those not mentioned in this study, may play a role in the development of prostate cancer, although exactly why this occurs is not understood.
Not only may prostatitis cause prostate cancer but there is also evidence that suggests that chronic prostatitis increases risk of colorectal cancer as well. According to a study done at the Taipei Medical University in Taiwan, men with colorectal cancer were 45% more likely than the control group to have been previously diagnosed with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS).
What Can You Do to Prevent It?
One of the most important things you can do to lower your cancer risk is to take steps to manage your prostatitis and reduce inflammation. Research indicates that taking anti-inflammatory agents that target the enzyme cyclooxygenase may decrease this risk of cancer.
Since many traditional medical treatments do not work for eliminating CP/CPPS or chronic bacterial prostatitis, start looking into natural and alternative treatments to manage your prostatitis symptoms. There are many supplements and therapies that have an anti-inflammatory effect and even complement the use of antibiotics in the case of chronic bacterial prostatitis, helping to eliminate symptoms and stop recurrences. Drug-free and alternative ways to manage pain and inflammation include acupuncture, trigger-point release, ice packs, exercises, and physiotherapy.
Supplements offer a natural way to help fight inflammation and have been shown in studies to help manage prostatitis. A few of the supplements that have been found to help with prostatitis symptoms or support immunity include saw palmetto, pollen extracts, vitamin D3, turmeric and curcumin (which have benefits in fighting prostate cancer), quercetin, and green tea (also found to help fight prostate cancer).
Another supplement worth looking into is a quality probiotic. Probiotics are often used in conjunction with pollen extracts and quercetin as part of phytotherapy. Probiotics help restore gut health and the balance between beneficial bacteria and microflora in the intestinal tract. This is important for immunity as the gut controls about 70 to 80% of your immune function.
Besides supplements, you should use your diet to help you in managing prostatitits and preventing prostate cancer. There are foods to avoid for prostatitis and foods you should be eating. Certain foods like caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods like hot peppers, acidic foods, wheat, and gluten can exacerbate prostatitits symptoms. Finding out about any food allergies and intolerances you have (and avoiding those foods) is important too.
On the other hand some of the best foods for prostate health can help you fight prostatitis and prostate cancer, boost your immunity, and protect the cells in your body. Eat fish high in omega-3 fatty acids; cruciferous vegetables; berries; healthy fats from nuts, seeds, olives, and avocados; tomatoes (if the acids do not affect your symptoms); and mushrooms.
Just because you have prostatitis, it does not mean you will develop prostate cancer. But as prostatitis may increase your risk for prostate cancer and as 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, you should be concerned about preventing prostate cancer and improving your overall prostate health. You can do this through lifestyle changes and managing your prostatitis. Make sure to exercise regularly, eat some prostate-friendly and cancer-killing foods each week, and manage your stress. While there are certain factors that are out of your control, such as your age, family history, and genetics, there are still a lot of things you can do to improve your prostate health and lower your risk factors.
Although there is no causal link established there is an associated link between prostatitis and a higher risk of prostate cancer. The same factors that contribute to prostatitis seem to contribute to prostate cancer including diet, nutrition, exposure to chemicals and toxins as well as other environmental factors including stress and lifestyle. Reducing the negative impact of all these causal factors for prostatitis is a positive step towards reducing your risk of prostate cancer.
References for Can Prostatitis Cause Prostate Cancer:
Dennis LK, Lynch CF, Torner JC. Epidemiologic association between prostatitis and prostate cancer. Urology. Jul 2002;60(1):78-83. .
Roberts RO, Bergstralh EJ, Bass SE, Lieber MM, Jacobsen SJ. Prostatitis as a risk factor for prostate cancer. Epidemiology. Jan 2004;15(1):93-9.