A study showed that men with a prostate condition known as "nonbacterial prostatitis" continue to have health concerns after the symptoms improve. The condition, in which the prostate gland may or may not become inflamed, leads to pelvic pain and, in some cases, urination problems. Physicians are not sure what causes the condition, but bacterial infection has been ruled out. Certain medications, hot baths, and other therapies can relieve symptoms, which do improve over time for most men. No evidence proves that the condition is a precursor to cancer, yet many men with the condition believe that it is.
Researchers interviewed 286 men with the condition, aged 18 to 65, within a single Washington state managed care plan. The men were interviewed shortly after an initial diagnosis of the condition, then again at 3, 6, and 12 months. Two thirds of the men said they still had at least one concern about the condition after a year, including those whose symptoms had disappeared. Among men whose symptoms were still present in the month prior to the last interview, 86% were worried that their symptoms might not resolve, and 46% feared they might have cancer. Researchers point out that the men were not asked to recall what their physicians had told them and suggest that lack of information about the condition could lead to unnecessary worries.