Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is a cancerous growth in the prostate gland that is one of the most common types of cancer in men. The cause of the cancer is unknown, but the male sex hormone testosterone has been found to influence the growth rate and spread of the tumour. Men who have a family history of prostate cancer are at an increased risk of developing cancer of the prostate and the condition most commonly affects elderly men.


Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland, usually affecting men aged between 30 and 50. It is often caused by a bacterial infection that has spread from the urethra. The presence of a urinary catheter increases the risk of prostatitis. The main symptoms of prostatitis are fever, flu-like symptoms, and pain in the lower back. There may also be pain around the rectum, which is particularly troublesome on passing faeces. Diagnosis is made by rectal examination (the prostate gland is very tender to digital pressure) and tests on urine samples.