By Dr. Sandeep Nunia, Urology
Prostatitis is a disease that affects and impairs the prostate in men. The main function of the prostate is to produce semen that gives motility and strength to human sperm. When it is impaired, so is this function.
Prostatitis happens more often in men who are 50 years of age or younger, and there are several types to it (like the bacterial variety). Sometimes, the underlying cause for incidence is not even known. Some types of prostatitis heal naturally, other types require medication.
The common symptoms of this disease are-
• An intense need to urinate at specific times (mostly at night)
• Pain and discomfort while urinating
• Certain unusual quirks developing in the normal urine flow
• Getting started or holding a normal flow may be difficult. Even after you think you are finished, droplets might linger, a phenomenon termed as dribbling.
Prostate cancer: What is it?
Prostate cancer is cancer of the same small prostate gland in men that is a part of the reproductive and urinary systems of the body. The cancer is fairly common and is treatable only if detected in the early stages. However, the diagnosis and detection are difficult.
Symptoms of this condition include-
• The same uncontrollable and abrupt need to urinate at specific times of the day, same as in prostatitis
• The need to urinate in greater measures than what you usually do, especially at night. Even in this regard, symptoms of prostate cancer match those of prostatitis.
• The weak and abnormal urine flow that characterizes prostatitis is also a chief tenet of prostate cancer. The patient has difficulty starting, maintaining and regulating the flow.
The treatment of prostatitis and prostate cancer differ, depending on the severity of the symptoms and the disease. While prostatitis can be treated using medications and antibiotics, prostate cancer treatment involves the patient going through aggressive chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
In comparison, it is easy to see why patients and even doctors are confused about the symptoms of these two diseases and mistake one disease for the other. However, one disease is potentially much more harmful than the other. Therefore, you should indulge in much more intensive testing once you develop these symptoms, and should go for regular health check-ups even following your initial testing rounds.