It May Not Be Cancer: Other Common Prostate Problems That Cause Similar Symptoms

If you are suffering from symptoms like frequent urination, having to urinate at night, and feeling like you cannot empty your bladder completely, you may be worried that you have prostate cancer. This can be a very scary prospect. However, what you need to know is that cancer is just one of several conditions that can affect your prostate -- and all of these conditions cause the same general symptoms. Before you assume you have cancer, make an appointment with your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. And rest assured that one of the conditions below may actually be to blame.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Benign prostatic hyperplasia, also known as BPH, is a condition in which the prostate swells and becomes tumorous -- but the tumors are not cancerous and are not at risk of spreading to the rest of the body. Because the prostate is located near the urethra, BPH puts pressure on the urethra, resulting in the urinary tract-related symptoms you're experiencing. 

BPH is not a serious condition aside from the fact that its symptoms are annoying. Some men are completely fine without any treatment, but if you find the symptoms bothersome, your doctor may recommend laser-based therapy to help shrink the prostate, or perhaps surgery to remove it. 

Prostate Infections

Like other organs and tissues in your body, your prostate gland has the propensity to become infected with bacteria. This can cause it to swell, leading to the symptoms you're experiencing. Often, if an infection is to blame for your symptoms, you will also feel fatigued and maybe even a bit feverish.

If you are diagnosed with a prostate infection, your doctor will start by prescribing antibiotics. These should help your body fight off the dangerous bacteria. In the most serious of cases, you may need to have fluid drained from your prostate using a special needle.

Chronic Non-Bacterial Prostatitis

Chronic non-bacterial prostatitis occurs when your prostate fills with fluid, but this fluid accumulation is not related to an infection. This is sometimes a side effect of certain medications and is more common in men with high blood pressure. Like BHP, it does not usually require treatment unless it becomes overly bothersome. Decreasing your salt intake and getting your blood pressure under control may help ease the symptoms and make flare-ups less common.

Always see your doctor if you're having prostate-related symptoms, but don't jump to the conclusion that you have cancer. In many cases, one of these more minor conditions is to blame.