Does Chronic Prostate Inflammation cause Cancer?

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About Prostate Inflammation

The prostate gland is part of the endocrine system. It stores fluid that is secreted during ejaculation, and makes up between 30% and 70% of the volume of seminal fluid. Some men are at risk of prostate inflammation, which is most often caused by acute or chronic bacterial infection. In some cases, prostate inflammation exists without an underlying bacterial infection; this condition is known as chronic pelvic pain syndrome. The risk of prostate inflammation increases with age. Prostate inflammation can also be asymptomatic, making regular prostate checks an important part of health & wellness for men as they age.

There seems to be a strong correlation between chronic prostate inflammation and the development of prostate cancer. Several studies have shown that there is a link between the presence of pro-inflammatory cytokines in prostatic fluids of men with chronic prostate inflammation, and in men who undergo prostatectomy to remove cancer. These studies suggest that, even if chronic prostate inflammation does not directly cause prostate cancer, there is a strong association between the two.

In addition, one study suggested that the link existed only in cases of prostatitis caused by bacterial infections. Other studies have indicated a possible link between a history of sexually transmitted diseases such as those caused by human papillomavirus and Neisseria gonorrhoeae_, chronic prostate inflammation, and prostate cancer._

It has been suggested that chronic prostate inflammation leads to a prostatic environment in which the frequency of genetic mutation increases, or where genetic mutations are not repaired. In these situations, mutations that disrupt the normal cell cycle can occur, and when this happens, cancer may result.

Other factors such as smoking, poor nutrition, and obesity have also been suggested as playing a role in the development of prostate cancer. However, it is not known what, if any, role prostate inflammation plays in these cases. It may be that factors such as weight and nutrition increase the likelihood of cancer developing if chronic inflammation is present.


Benjamin C. Wedro, MD, FAAEM. Prostatitis

PSA Rising: Prostate Cancer Survivor Support Group

Sonya Vasto, Giuseppe Carruba, Giuseppina Candore, Emilio Italiano, Danilo Di Bona, Calogero Caruso. Inflammation and Prostate Cancer: Human Prostate Cancer & Inflammation