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Differences between Prostate Cancer, Prostatitis, and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

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Adrià Piñero Zomeño
Urology and andrology consultations, Urological check-ups. Specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney stones.
07 Dec 2023
3 Min
Health tips
  • The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system located just below the bladder and surrounding the urethra. It is part of the male reproductive system, aiding in the production of semen.


  • Due to the prostate’s location, symptoms caused by prostate diseases are usually primarily related to urination.


Do you feel burning and pain when urinating? Do you have the sensation that you cannot completely empty your bladder? Do you urinate very often?

There are three urogenital pathologies that commonly affect the prostate, and they have very similar symptoms: Prostate Cancer, Prostatitis, and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia.

We’ll tell you how they differ, their symptoms, and their diagnosis.

Prostate Cancer: What it is and Causes

Prostate cancer is a disease that originates when malignant cells form in the tissues of the prostate. It is one of the most common types of cancer and tends to grow very slowly, often remaining silent in the early stages. The causes of prostate cancer are not clear, although factors increasing the risk include age, family history, race, and obesity.


In most cases, it produces no symptoms and is diagnosed through urological checkups. When symptoms occur, they may include urinary problems (difficulty starting or stopping the flow of urine, frequent need to urinate, and the feeling of not being able to empty the bladder completely), pain or discomfort (pain or burning sensation when urinating, bone pain, especially in the lower back, hips, or pelvis, and discomfort in a testicle or scrotum), changes in urinary patterns (blood in urine or semen, painful ejaculation), and other symptoms such as erectile dysfunction or unexplained weight loss.

Prostatitis: What it is and Causes

Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate, usually caused by a bacterial infection. Any bacteria that can cause a urinary infection can lead to bacterial prostatitis, as well as some sexually transmitted infections (STIs).


At the onset of infection, prostatitis typically presents with flu-like symptoms (general discomfort, muscle aches, chills, and fever). Urinary problems (frequent urination with a small amount of urine, the feeling of not being able to empty the bladder completely, and urinary incontinence), pain or discomfort (burning sensation when urinating and pain in the testicles, lower abdomen, or perineum), and sexual problems (decreased libido, painful ejaculation, and blood in semen) may also occur.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH): What it is and Causes

Benign prostatic hyperplasia is the non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate. Benign prostate growth is a common condition related to hormonal changes that occur as a man ages, typically causing changes in urine quality from the age of 50.


The most common symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia may include the need to urinate frequently (especially at night), problems with urine flow (difficulty starting to urinate, weak or stopping urine flow, dribbling), and the feeling of not being able to empty the bladder completely.



For the diagnosis of these three prostate diseases, the urologist will conduct a thorough and personalized assessment of the health of the urinary and male reproductive systems. They will review symptoms and personal and family medical history and perform a physical examination to determine if the prostate is inflamed. If necessary, more specific tests may be requested, such as blood analysis to determine PSA (a prostate marker), urine analysis, or imaging studies (ultrasound, MRI). Based on the results, a diagnosis will be made, and a personalized treatment will be recommended.

To prevent and diagnose urological conditions early and enhance the quality of life, cure rates, and avoid collateral damage, our urologists at CreuBlanca emphasize the importance of undergoing urological checkups for any concerns or pain, especially from the age of 40 if you have risk factors and from the age of 50 otherwise.

Schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.


Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Prostate cancer