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