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Antibiotics May Not Help Men's Chronic Pelvic Pain: Harvard Doctors Discuss Alternatives
Date:10/18/2007

BOSTON, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Prostatitis is a common problem, yet the antibiotics physicians prescribe to relieve the lower back and genital pain associated with this condition work in only a fraction of cases. That's because most men with this condition have a form called chronic nonbacterial prostatitis, which is particularly hard to treat. But, as the latest edition of Harvard Medical School's Perspectives on Prostate Disease describes, urologists are changing their thinking about nonbacterial prostatitis and its treatments.

Chronic nonbacterial prostatitis -- more commonly known as chronic pelvic pain syndrome -- is not life-threatening. However, it can cause debilitating symptoms, including constant pain, difficulty urinating, and burning while urinating or ejaculating. Harvard urologist Dr. Michael O'Leary notes that the broad range of symptoms suggests that these problems may not all be related to the prostate itself, but may in fact originate in the muscles, ligaments, and nerves around the prostate.

One of the new treatments Dr. O'Leary recommends is alfuzosin, an alpha blocker conventionally used for treating an enlarged prostate gland. The drug works on the whole pelvic floor, not just the prostate. The latest issue of Perspectives on Prostate Disease describes this and other medications recommended by Dr. O'Leary. It also provides an in-depth look at the complexities of diagnosing and treating chronic pelvic pain syndrome and explains how it differs from other forms of prostatitis.

The 48-page quarterly report also includes articles on these topics:

-- Advances in the understanding and treatment of prostate disease

-- Improvements in MRI for the detection of prostate cancer

-- Options and controversies in hormone therapy for prostate cancer

-- A patient's story: How one man maintained his sex life during and after

treatment for prostate cancer

A year's subscription to Perspectives on Prostate Disease is available for $99 (for print and electronic versions; $89 for electronic only) from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School. Order it online at http://www.health.harvard.edu/POPD or by calling 1-877-649-9457 (toll free).

Media: Contact Christine Junge at Christine_junge@hms.harvard.edu for a complimentary copy of Perspectives on Prostate Disease.


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SOURCE Perspectives on Prostate Disease
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