Can Chronic Prostatitis Cause Colorectal Cancer?

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If you have chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS), you could be at increased risk of colorectal cancer, according to a study from Taipei Medical University in Taiwan. Results of the study appeared recently in BJU International.

This study is important because chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome is the most common form of prostatitis and affects a significant number of men. It is estimated that as many as 35% of men older than 50 have chronic prostatitis and about 50% of men will receive a diagnosis of prostatitis during their lifetime.

In the study, Herng-Ching Lin, MD, and his team enrolled 2,899 men with colorectal cancer and 14,995 men who acted as controls. After they adjusted for factors such as location, income, and the presence of high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and renal disease, the investigators found that men with colorectal cancer were 45% more likely than controls to have been diagnosed previously with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome.

When the men with colorectal cancer were categorized by age, the strongest association with an increased risk of colorectal cancer was seen in men younger than 60 years. A diagnosis of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome was twice as likely to be associated with younger men, ages 40 to 59.

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common form of cancer among men, according to the National Cancer Institute, after skin, prostate, and lung cancer. In the United States in 2012, an estimated 103,170 new cases of colon cancer and 40,290 cases of rectal cancer will be diagnosed, and approximately 51,690 people will die of colorectal cancer.

Overall, the authors concluded that especially among men who are younger than 60 years of age, the presence of chronic prostatitis increases colorectal cancer risk.


Chung SD et al. A case-control study of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome and colorectal cancer. BJU International 2012 Feb 7; DOI:10.1111/j.1464-410X.2012.10929.x

National Cancer Institute